THE GOLDEN CENSER OR THE DUTIES OF TO-DAY and THE HOPES OF THE FUTURE.
JOHN McGOVERN, (OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.)
AUTHOR OF "HISTORY OF COMMUNISM," "WORLDS WITHOUT END," "CROWN JEWELS," "A PASTORAL POEM," ETC
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COPYRIGHTED BY M.B. DOWNER & F.C. SMEDLEY, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 1881-1882.
I take pleasure in laying before my readers a volume the aim of which is to lighten the cares of to-day and heighten the hopes of to-morrow. Every human aspiration which is not an ignis fatuus or fool's beacon is built on the realities of to-day. Every young person evincing talents in any direction hears predictions which are alone built on what he is doing at present. He takes this hope and redoubles his efforts. He usually succeeds—therefore, the inherited universality of hope.
Looking thus upon hope as a beautiful edifice rising above the foundations of our lives, I have striven to give my special attention to the duties of to-day, those stones whereon the structure is reared, that the first cruel tempest of adversity may not transport an unsubstantial fabric, like the palace of Aladdin, into the deserts of despair.
I have also tried to show that the lesson, so true in a proper view of this life, is also applicable to the far grander vista of eternity which, in the mind of philosopher as well as divine, lies so clearly before us.
In a Hard-Pan Series of ten chapters I have endeavored to point out, to the young men just starting in practical life, some things less general in their scope than the other thoughts spread forth in the book. The necessity of arming our youth with those qualities which lead to business success has made me confident that this attempt would be approved by the general reader.
Wherever a writer versed in the deep mysteries of the heart has left his thoughts on record, and they have fallen under my eye, I have eagerly chained them to my humble chariot, always, when possible, giving the authorship of the idea. The value of a thoroughly good admonition is frequently enhanced by the knowledge that it comes from the mouth of a thoroughly good man.
The Hopes of To-Morrow Must Have a Foundation in what We Are Doing To-Day—The same Thing True of Our Hopes of the Next Life—The Hard-Pan Series. Page 3.
The Golden Censer.
The Golden Censer which Hangs in the Temple of Life—The Palace of the Soul—The Alarm-Bell Called Conscience—George Washington—The Soldier in Battle—Goldsmith's Pastor—Duty the Reason for Living—Duty the Stern Daughter of the Voice of God—Victor Hugo's Maxim—A Celebrated Piece of Verse. Page 21.
The Flights of Time.
We Are Old Before We Know It—We are Then Shocked and Regretful—Need of Impressing the Young with This Truth—A Golden Thought—How We Learned to Read—Lorena—Coal-Oil Johnny—Get Interest on Your Own Money Instead of Paying Interest on Other People's—You Thus Save Double Interest—You Wish to Succeed—Put out Your Ideas at Interest—"Lost!" an Advertisement—Haste and Waste—Get to Bed Early and Cheat Rheumatism and Neuralgia—Time the Corrector of Fools—The Mill Never Grinds with the Water that Has Gone Past. Page 25.
Byron, Thomson, and Payne's Sweet Thoughts—A Grand Thought in a Grand Syllable—The Murderer in His Cell—The Letter from Home—The Thatch of Avarice—The Man Who Wrote "Home, Sweet Home," Had no Home—Dr. Johnson—The Halo that Surrounds the Word—The Long-Ago is Hidden in It—Rembrandt and His Sister—Dickens—The Cottage of a Godly Man—Kings Have no Homes—Democritus—The Old Home Was Happy Because We Were Shielded—We Must, in Our Turn, Shield the Little Ones—Suffer Little Children—Get a Home—See that Your Children Get Settled. Page 31.
Duties of Parents.
Thoughts Intended Especially for Their Ears—Children a Blessing—Through Our Children We Become Immortal on the Earth—Shakspeare—How Character is Built Up—Good Example—Father and Son—Starting the Boys and the Girls—The Daughter—Do not Blight Her Life—Happy Wives and Mothers—"Thanking Death"—Education of the Young—The Power and Beauty of the Bible—Bible, Shakspeare, and Geography More Necessary than Grammar, Botany, and Latin—Worship—A Suspicious Parent—The School-Master Experience—Try and Cut Down the Extent of His Services in the Education of Your Child. Page 42.
Brother and Sister.
The Noble Brother Will Have a Noble Sister—The Young Man of High Tone Will See to It that His Sister is Treated with Respect—He Sets the Example to All Others—Utter Selfishness of a Young Man Who Drags Down His Sister by Falling into Bad Society Himself—The Summer Vacation—Why a "Crooked Stick" Has Been Picked up By the Sister—Your Sister Your Other Half—Watch Her and Mend Your Weak Places—A Quick Temper—Scene in a Field Near Stone River Battle-field—The Sister's Influence on Your Fortunes—Brother and Sister as the Two Heads of One Home. Page 53.
"Heaven Lies About Us in Our Infancy"—The Great History Written by Thiers, and Its Central Thought—The Impressibility of Youth—Much Can Be Accomplished in Youth—Alexander, Caesar, Pompey, Hannibal, Scipio, Napoleon, Charles XII, Alexander Hamilton, Shelley, Keats, Bryant—Youth Our Italy and Greece, full of Gods and Temples—Edmund Burke—Rochefoucauld —Chesterfield—Lord Lytton's Love of Youth—Shortness of Youthful Griefs —Hannah More—Sir Walter Raleigh's Wise Remark—The Extraordinary Expectations of Youth—Dr. Watts—Story of the Alpena—Lord Bacon's Summing up of the Differences Between Youth and Age—Introduction to the Hard-Pan Series. Page 62.
Prudence in Speech.
Need of Money—Difficulty of Getting It—Testimony of the Closest Mouthed Man Who Perhaps Ever Lived—"No Man Can Be Happy or Even Honest Without a Moderate Independence"—You Find Yourself Behind a Counter—The Little Boy's Shoes Wear Out at the Toe—They are Therefore Copper-plated—The Young Man's Common Sense Gives Way at the Tip of His Tongue—Difficulties in the Way of a Boy Who "Blabs"—A Man Who Is "Pumped" Like the Secretary of the Treasury Must Have Practiced Silence All His Life—Story of the Barber of King Midas—Beware of the First Error—How Things Leak out—Put a Copper-Toe on Your Tongue. Page 74.
Courtesy Rests on a Deep Foundation—He Who is Naturally Polite is Naturally Moral—You Wish to Have Your Customers Brighten up—Brighten up Yourself—What is Good-Breeding?—Read Chesterfield—Study Your Customer—You are Young and Positive—Be Careful on That Account—Your Hands—Jewelry—Act Respectfully and You Will Be Full of Good Manners—An Example—How to Treat the Busybody—Zachariah Fox—Ralph Waldo Emerson—Milton's Allusion to the origin of the Word "Courtesy"—The Celebrated "Beaux" of History—Momentary Views of Our Souls—Your Clothes—They Should Occupy Little of Your Mind—Civility Costs Nothing and Buys Everything. Page 80.
A Small Leak Will Sink a Great Ship—The Little Cloud Arising out of the Sea Waxes into the Storm that Lashes the Trembling Ocean—The People with Small Wages Can Often Save the Most Money—You Cannot Spend Your Money Without the Righteous Criticism of Others—How Young Men Spend Much of Their Extra Cash—Rural Saloons—A Gallon of Whiskey—What It is Actually Worth—What It is Sold For—Ordinary Profits of Legitimate Business—Tobacco—What Three Years' Savings Will Do for a Man in America—A Good Wagoner Can Turn in a Little Room—When You Buy a Horse Reckon on What He Will Eat Instead of What His Price Is—Save all You Can—Harness It up and Make It Pull in Interest. Page 88.
Adversity's Lamp—Youth Has Great need of Courage—It should be Long-Suffering Rather than Intrepid—You Must Gain the Battle by Taking Sudden Advantages—You Must Hurl 10,000 Men Against 2,000 Before Your Enemy Can Be Reinforced—Story of a Young Man Who Broke Through the Enemy's Lines at Chicago—His Low Wages—His Bad Prospects—Reading the Bible and Plutarch—Studying French—The Attempt to Become an Actor—Dismal Failure—Difficulty of Conquering Wounded Pride—The Return to "Hard Work"—Progress—Triumph—Reason of the Victory—Hope a Quality Closely Akin to Courage—Courage, However, the Grand Motor that Moves the World—Courage Builds the Great Bridges and Hope Rides on a Free Pass over Them. Page 95.
Hope is a Gold-Leaf Which Can Be Beaten with the Hammer of Adversity to Exceeding Thinness—The Medicine of the Miserable—Hope Should Deposit Probabilities with Experience, His Banker—Story of a Young Man Whose Hope Carried him Across a Bad Place in Life—Making Garden—Sandpapering Window-Frames in a Cellar—Selling "Milton Gold Jewelry"—Working in a "gang," on a Farm, after the English Fashion—A Situation Found on the Very Day of the Great Fire, Just Without the Bounds of the Conflagration—Map-Making—Success—Hope Is the Cork to the Net—We Will Part With Our Money, but we will Never Sell Our Hope at any Price—The Celebrated Shield—Hope Unjustly Defamed. Page 107.
God's Exactitude—One at a Time is the Way Rats Get into a Granary—The First Rat Eats Out the Hole—Story of Sag Bridge—The Collision—The Horror—The Cause—Imitate the Detectives—Story of a Cashier Who Left Off a "Simple Cipher," which Stood for a Hundred Thousand Dollars in Cash to His Employers—How to Mail a Letter—"We Never Make Mistakes —The Way People Are Convinced That Care Is Necessary—How a Careless Clerk Can Drive Away Custom—The Lightning Calculator—He Is Simply a Hard Worker—Our Multiplication-Table Does Not Run High Enough—The Freaks of Figures—Correct Your Spelling—Learn to Avoid Foolish Exaggeration—Force of Habit—"A Man of Good Habits" Is a Man Who Would Be Positively Uncomfortable and Unhappy if He Attempted to Become Dissolute. Page 119.
Hard-Pan Reason Why Nothing Succeeds So Well as Success—Your Good Fortune in Living on American Soil—Missing Battles and Allowing Others to Be Promoted Instead of Yourself—No City Ever Withstood a Good Siege—Get into the Strong Sunshine of active Life—The Safe Time to Become Discontented—What Praise Means—What Gloomy Predictions Mean When Your Employer Makes Them—Practice—Example in Proof-Reading—Captains are Made out of First Lieutenants—The Retail Business—Fools Rushing in Where Angels Fear to Tread—The Successful Grocery—No Wonder Success Sits on That Corner—The Painter Who Mixed His Colors With Brains—Story of The Man Who Could Imitate Birds—Do not Attempt Impossible Journeys—Stop at Each Inn. Page 132.
Truth of the adage that a Man Is Known by the Company He Keeps—Tam O'Shanter's Habits—Building a House With a Party-Wall—Playing Billiards at Noon-Time—Smelling of the Smoke of the Kitchen—Bar-Room Manners—Judging a Man by His Clothes—A Piece of Impertinence which Cost the Keeping of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars—"The Companion of Fools Shall Be Destroyed"—Learn to Admire Rightly—Charm which the Look of Certain Loafers Has for Many Young Men—Getting a Sitting in Church—Keep in Company Where You Will Be Under a Pleasant Restraint—Either Wise Bearing or Ignorant Carriage Is Caught, as Men Take Diseases One from Another. Page 144.
On The Road.
Natural Depression—Certainty of Its Discontinuance—The Best Salesmen Have Been Very Soft-Hearted on Their Early Trips—Entering the Town—Riding One Block for Half a Dollar—A Poor Meal—Getting Your Wind—Planning the Charge—Canvassing Yourself—What Is the Almost Limitless Power of Persuasion?—Abraham Lincoln—The Whisky Which Made Generals Win Battles was the Kind of Whisky He Was in Search of—Your Dress—Your Entrance at Your Customer's Place—Your Speed in Getting Started—Your Ease after the Start Is Made—Never Stop the Customer—Your Perfect Accuracy as to Men and Places—Story of a Meteoric Salesman—Trouble of Putting a Stop to his Flight—Your Supper Tastes Good—The Men of Cold Exterior—Stay Out but Do not Stay Up—How to Get Vim and Sparkle—Extraordinary Value of a Man Who Can "Place Goods." Page 152.
The Tracks of Giants—Napoleonic Miracles—Webster and Astor—George Peabody—Giving Away Eight Millions of Dollars—Stewart—Andrew Johnson—Barnum and Stanford—Ulysses S. Grant—Commodore Vanderbilt—Elihu Burritt—Edgar Poe—Greeley, Chase, Garfield and William Tecumseh Sherman—Tennyson—Robert E. Lee—Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg—James Gordon Bennett—Carlyle and Victor Hugo—Garibaldi —Agassiz, Humboldt, Proctor, Seward, Farragut, Nelson, Abercrombie, Joseph E. Johnston, Longstreet, and Fifty Others—The Habit of Riding Over Obstacles—Herodotus, Seneca and Franklin on the Power of Example—Christ Never Wrote a Tract—The System of Redoubling the Effort and Coming out, after one Victory, Ahead after Reckoning all Losses. Page 164.
Shakspeare's Eulogy, just as He Penned It—Emerson—A Columbus of the Skies—Carlyle's Panegyric—Whately—Man's Faults—Horace Man and Pascal—The Poet Cowley and Boileau—Fallacy of their Scoldings as Applied to all Humankind—What Is Man?—Plato's Answer—Addison's Answer—Burke's Answer—Adam Smith's Answer—Buffon's Failure to Make a Satisfactory Answer—Plutarch's Answer—"The Proper Study of Mankind is Man"—Henry Giles and John Ruskin—The Wonderful Instrument Called the Hand—The Violin Slave—Man's Opportunities—What God has Said of His Children—The Beautiful Language in Which It is Written—Nobility of Our Destiny—A Stinging Epigram. Page 175.
The Hand That Made Woman Fair Made Her Good—Wordsworth's Beautiful lines to His Wife—"She Was a Phantom of Delight"—Campbell's "Pleasures of Hope"—A Pleasant Subject—The Difference Between Love in Man and Love in Woman—Jean Paul Richter's Encomium—Schiller's Tribute—Shelley—Shakspeare—Rousseau, Barrett and Balzac—The Duke of Halifax—Addison—Boyle—Sex in The Soul—Woman's Love of Ornament—Her Dress the Perfection of What Man Demands of Her—Dr. Johnson's Explanation—Testimony of John Ledyard to the Goodness of Woman—His History—Woman's Enormous Influence over Man—How Men Live Where There Are No Women—The History of Human Sickness a Monument of the Goodness of Woman. Page 187.
Overshadowing Antiquity of the Word "Papa"—The Pope Is Simply Papa, in Italian—Duties of the Son Toward the Father—Honesty of His Love for You—Patriarchal Government the Beginning and Still the Prop of Society—Old Age the Childhood of Immortality—Honor Attaching to Greatness of years in the past—Age Still a Necessity in Many of the Learned Professions—Age Is Indulgent Because It sees no Fault it Has not Itself Committed—Time the Harper, Laying His Hand Gently on the Harp of Life—Love of Little Children—The Village Blacksmith, the Mighty Man—Respect for Venerable Years a Fitting Thing in the Most Dignified of Young Men—Two Pictures, One Dark and the Other Bright. Page 197
A Great Subject—Chords Struck by Coleridge and Tennyson—She Has Risked Her Life that Her Child Might Live—She Has Grown Spectre-Like that Her Child Might Wax Strong—She Has Forgotten the Debt Due to Her in Her Anxiety to Obtain an Acknowledgment of the Debt Due to God—Her Memory—Christmas—Her Sick Child—Man the Mighty at His Mother's Knee—The Best Friend—"An Ounce of Mother Worth a Pound of Clergy"—A Mother's Praise—The Dead—Unalterable Fidelity—Forgetting a Mother's Claims—The Mother Still in Middle Life—The Mother of Greater Years—The Mother of Mothers—She Gathered the Orphans Together and Poured Out Her Tenderness Upon Them. Page 207.
A Great Passion, Therefore not one to Trifle and Be Familiar With—Its Tyranny—Feelings and Actions of a Young Man in Love—Utter Uselessness for Business of a Young Man During the Uncertain Period Between Desire and Possession—Love Rules The Universe—How The Sages Look upon Love—It Is But the Flash in the Broad Pan of True Happiness—Shakspeare, Tennyson, Overbury, Mrs. Sigourney, South, Dryden, Plautus, Goethe, Burton, Valerius Maximus, Rochefoucauld, Addison. Hazlitt and Emerson—"The Wooden God's Remorse"—"Love Me Little Love Me Long"—The Poet Petrarch's Strange Behavior—"If She Do not Care for Me, What Care I How Fair She Be!" —LaFontaine, Lyttleton, Schiller, Ruffini, Ducoeur, DeStael, Colton, Dudevant, Balzac, Moore, Beecher, Victor Hugo, Longfellow, Limayrac, Howe, Deluzy and Jane Porter—"Solomon was So Seduced, and He Had a Very Good Wit"—Alexander Smith—Great Space Given to Love in all the Books of the World—Some Things to Remember While Viewing the Passion in Others. Page 219.
The Young Man Finds Himself in Love and "Begins to Think"—He Wonders That He Never Before Thought of Money—Difference Between a Wharf-Rat and a Man—Difference Between a Married Man and an Old Bachelor Who Has Always Been Afraid of the Expense—Everything Natural in Marriage—Be "Square" with Your Sweetheart—The Circus-Poster—The Quarry of Truth—Do not "Talk Big" and Love Little—Courtship and Marriage not a Matter of "Want to or Don't Want to," but a Strenuous Case of "Got to"—Marriage Like Life Insurance—Closing Hints. Page 234.
Sample of a "Swell Wedding"—Undignified Aspects of a Swell Wedding Where It Takes Every Cent a Man Can Earn, Beg and Borrow—A Farce, and an Example to Shun—Let us Have Some Manhood and Womanhood at a Critical Point, the Start in Real Life—To Be a Man Is to Be Married—Nature's Artful Treatment of Human Beings—Folly of Men Who Throw Away Their Happiness—Be Inquisitive Before Marriage—Be Blind Thereafter—The Law Approves and Encourages the Married State—The Married Man Is of the Greater Importance in the Nation—A Thing to Be Kept in Mind—Married Men Healthier than Bachelors—Married Women Healthier than Maids—A Married Man Has a Greater Excess of Comforts than of Troubles as Compared with the Comforts and Troubles of the Bachelor. Page 246.
A Practical Chapter on Life as It Is Actually Lived by a Man and Woman Who Have a Fair Chance in the World—A Home With a Young Wife in It no Place for Other Men, no Matter How Dear they May Be to the Husband—Give the Wife a Chance—Kindness—Do not Be Afraid of Honoring Your Wife any Too Much—The Wife's Proper Cares—A Reply to the Common Form of Attack on the Principle that Marriage Is Both Natural and Expedient—McFarland—A Man's Happy Experience as a Husband—Judgment, Vanity, Selfishness and Trepidation—Good for Evil—Astonishing Changes in a Man's Needs—The Fireside of a Man Who Is Trying to Do Right—His Profound Gratitude at the Accuracy of His Taste in Earlier Years—Death, or Worse than Death—Three Studies—Apology for a Somewhat Uncharitable Reply to a Selfish Argument. Page 256
A Chapter on Bachelors Apt to Diverge into a Dissertation on Solitude—Arguments which the Bachelor Applies to the Question of Marriage—Being the Soul of Selfishness He Is Unwilling to Believe Happiness In Marriage Possible until He Shall Himself Have Embarked in Matrimony—Manner in Which He Usually Proclaims That all Men Who Marry Are Fools—Single Life Unavoidable with Some Men—A Mere Spectator of Other Men's Fortunes—The One Grand Result of Single Life—Wearing Out One Set of Faculties by Forty—Losing Control of the Other Set by Disuse—The Way a Bachelor Judges a Young Girl—His Somewhat Sordid Ideas—Events Have Distorted His Nature—A Bachelor's Great opportunities for Getting Book-Knowledge—Good out of Evil—Mistaken Ideas about Bachelors, which the Ladies are Apt to Entertain—Foolish Diatribes against Women—The Lack of Knowledge which Those Diatribes Betray—The Front-Porch View of Girlhood Esteemed to be the whole of Woman's Nature! Page 270.
Health, Even with Memory, cannot conceive the Feelings of Disease—The Invalid's Sad Weakness—The King cannot Hire a man to Have the Typhoid Fever for Him—The Strong man Felled to His Couch—Chances for Philosophy—The Chances Usually Thrown Away with the Medicine Bottles—The Bachelor Sick—His Body now as Full of the need of Woman's attention as It was of Brags that He would Have none of Her—Let Us do something, by not attempting Everything in the way of Reformation. Page 281.
The Tallest mountains, although They Gather the Heaviest Clouds about Their Solemn Sides, Yet Look Through Cloudless Skies up Toward the Sun—Effect of Deep Sorrow on the Appearance of Beauties of Nature—We Deprecate Grief, and yet We Rail at Its Short Duration—The Stricken Wife—The Young man who Loves and Is Rejected—His Dilemma—His Erroneous and Immature Decision that He would Love But One, and Love Forever—A Peak which Hardly Rises to the Bottom of the Valleys in the Mountains Piled Down by Events in After-life—True Greatness is True Humility—Affliction Beautifies Human Nature—Blessedness of Employment—Efficacy of Religion—The Beautiful Poem of "The Lamb in the Shepherd's Arms." Page 290.
A Topic That Hits Close to Every Man—In the Old World the Countries Are to Blame; In the New the Individual Is Generally at Fault—Case of Vanderbilt—Fears of Enormously Rich men that their Wealth will excite the Irresistible Cupidity of their Governments—Burdens of Immense Riches in an Active Land Like This—The Shocking Imbecility of False Poverty—"Appearances"—Popular Errors as to Servants—Big Houses—Story of the Happy Man. Page 300.
Facts About Progress.
Progress the Stride of God—The Field-Hand in 1350—One hundred and Twelve Hours' Labor for a Bushel of Wheat—The same Laborer in 1550, in 1675, and in 1795—Seventy Hours for a Bushel of Wheat—The Same Laborer To-day—Twenty Hours for the Bushel of Wheat—The Children of the Laborer who Came to America—Seven or Eight Hours for a Bushel of Wheat. Page 311.
Failure in Life.
Lightning Is More Apt To hit a Scrag than a Tree Which has Never Been Riven—The Scrags in Society—The Loadstone of Failure at the Foot of the Scrag—The Lesson to be Derived from Hopeless Failure in Others—Sorrows March in Battalions, not as Single Spies. Page 321.
Gains and Brains.
The Man of Success—Eggs Trying to Dance with Stones—Trying to Draw the Prize in a Lottery Without any Ticket—Dray Horses' Honest Belief that the Earth Moves Backward under the Racer's Feet, He Being So Lucky—The Heavy End of the Lifting—How Fortune Tellers Make Their Money—Great Opportunities for All Who Were not Born Tired. Page 325.
One Reason of the Prosperity of the Present Era—Obey Orders—How the Wonders have been Piled Up—Metaphor of the Organ and Its Pipes and Reeds—Sound Your Pipe only in Your Proper Turn, and You will hear Beautiful Music. Page 332.
We Multiply Our Sensations by Books—Everyone Can have a Library—Books are the Best of Friends—Charm of a Well-Read Comrade—Bindings—A Book as Great a Thing as a Battle—Importance of Some Battles—Our Eyes—How to Judge a Book Rightly—Large Type—Need of Handy Volumes—Aid Others, as a Duty. Page 337.
Reason of the Melancholy Tone which Pervades the Great Writings of the Ages on this Subject—Man Expects to Get More than He Gives—How a man Prepares the Nostrum called Friendship—Unsuccessful Substitution of Selfishness for a Mother's Love—What is Possible in the way of Ordinary Friendship—Spot Friendship—Let us not Rail against Friendship. Page 345.
The Basest of all Traits—A Wolf's Den—The Tailless Fox—Envy is Largely Ignorance—Greatness attained only after Arduous Labors—The Tenor and The Stone-Front—Thiers' Long Life—A Critical View of Gladstone's Public Sorrows—Truly Distracting Dilemmas in which Circumstances of Empire Involve Great Men—An appeal to Envy. Page 354.
Mrs. Lofty—First Surprise of the Newly-Rich—The Scotch Mist—The Angel Sent to Conduct an Empire and the One Sent to Sweep a Street—Our Principal Causes of Happiness Free to All—How Rich Men Secure Happiness—The Prisoner and His Three Pins—Happiness Inalienable in Health—A Pleasant View of Egotism as a necessary Ingredient in Our Make-up. Page 362.
The Need of a "Balance of Power" in the Mind—As a General Thing Ambition a Quality to be Curbed—Assassination of Merit by Envy—The Man Qualified to Deal with Ambition—A Picture of His Unhappy Lot, as Illustrated in Napoleon's Life—Poem. Page 368.
The Republic's Anchor.
A Favorite Chapter—The Telegraph Outriding the Storms—The Farmers the Grand Conservative Forces of the Republic—Difference between Business and Farming—How the Farmers Will Settle the Communists and the Magnates—The Farmer's Sons—A Plea for Them—A Picture of the Opportunities which We are Daily Missing. Page 375.
The Drunkard's Wife—A Drama of Horror—Why Society Looks So Calmly on Such Scenes—The Wisdom and Experience of Society—Effort of the Brother to Improve His Sister's Condition—The Result—What Society Is Doing—The Drift of Things—Views of the Future—A Better Time nearly at Hand. Page 386.
A Good Name.
The Highest Type of Reputation, a Silent but Powerful Influence—Two Instances of Good Reputation—Tall Masts Needed for Great Ships—The Difference between Greatness on the Inside of a Man, and Great Appearances on the Outside. Page 395
Paramount Importance of Family Services—The Iron Duke's Remark—Sayings of the Wisest and Best—Scenes in Burned Chicago—Newton and La Place—Their Testimony—Victor Hugo: "I believe in the Sublimity of Prayer"—Wordsworth's Apostrophe—Young's Prayer—A Sweet Supplication. Page 400.
The Owlet Atheism—Hammer and Tongs used to work in Fire—False Headings on News—On The Plains of Chaldaea—The Voice of Duty ever in the way of the Atheist—A Creator Demanded by Reason—The Atheist Like Falstaff, Leading a very Scrubby File of Soldiers. Page 410.
The Bible is Authentic, Old, Beautiful—It is the Only Hope We have—It Out-dates the Chinese Empire—Everything Good and Progressive is Founded on It—Practical Value of Studying It—Its Eloquence—Its Triumphs in an Infinitude of Tests. Page 421.
The Evening of Life.
Age the Outer Shore against which Dashes an Eternity—We are on a small Planet, but We Belong to a Larger Celestial Empire—The Undevout Astronomer Insane—Does the Beast Peer into the Stars?—Eternity is not a conceit of Man—Apostrophe to a Patriarch. Page 433.
The Future Life.
Cato's Soliloquy—Promises of God's Word clothed in Syllables of Unsurpassable Sweetness—He that holdeth the Pleiades in His Right Hand—Blissful Forecasts—Shall God weigh out Arcturus to Stop the Unreasoning Clamor of the Fool who Hath Said in His Heart there Is No God? Conclusion. Page 441.
THE GOLDEN CENSER.
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer, Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. —Edgar Poe.
golden censer swings in the Temple of Life, making holy its halls and grateful its corridors. This fountain of our well-being is Duty. There is little true pleasure in the world which does not flow, either directly or remotely, from its depths.
It shall be the object of this volume to point out and name a few of the balms which burn in this Unseen Censer—a few of the lines of action which render our memories sweet and forever pleasant if they be wrapt in such perfume.
THE PALACE OF THE SOUL.
When the incense of a man's good actions spreads through the palace of the soul, "the powers that wait on noble deeds" light up the edifice with radiance brought from other worlds. In the eye of a good man—in the window of the palace of his soul—we behold an occupant who fears no duty. We are fascinated, and gather about, anxious to peer in upon the fortunate possessor. Therein lies the happiness and the force of good example.
But let the Censer burn low, and flicker in final sickliness; the great bell called Conscience, hanging in the dome, strikes an alarm that rocks the building. How oft the solemn tocsin sounds! It drives us to our duty! Let us be thankful its clangor is so harsh!
THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY,
the man whose heart was torn each time his soldiers' feet did bleed—the man who stood like a rock between the despot and the down-trodden—that man, at the end of the career which glorified him, and which, with reflected glory will light the annals of all coming centuries—that kind, good man, George Washington, could not discern the separating line between Duty and human happiness. "The consideration that human happiness and moral duty," he said, "are inseparately connected, will always continue to prompt me to promote the progress of the one by inculcating the practice of the other."
LET US KEEP THE GOLDEN CENSER BURNING
with the frankincense of our highest endeavors. "Let us," as Theodore Parker once said, "do our duty in our shop, or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle, and we knew that victory for mankind depended on our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that, the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world."
THE SOLDIER GOES FORTH
with his loins girded, hoping to conquer in the hard battles of life. Let the incense of Duty cling to his garments and keep him clean from selfish contagion. How lovely the picture of that old man of Goldsmith's time, swinging the Golden Censer before the hearts that throbbed in unison with him:
He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all; And as a bird each fond endearment tries,
To tempt her new-fledged offspring to the skies, He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.
Our duty was created with us. It is a pleasure to live. What then should be the pleasure to think there is a place for us—a duty beneficently made that gives us rights with our fellow-creatures? What though the duty may try your soul and stagger your capabilities? "Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests." Bear up with patient courage—"the bird that flutters least is longest on the wing." "Duty is the stern daughter of the voice of God."
Let us then, upon entering this stately Temple of Life, cast into the Golden Censer our courage, our hope, our energy, our love, our industry, and all those qualities which go to make the air around us redolent with the fragrance of the achievements of life. It cannot then well be that we shall lack in allegiance to our Maker, our country, or ourselves. "Duties are ours; events are God's."
"On parent knee, a naked, newborn child, Weeping thou satst while all around thee smiled; So live that, sinking in thy last long sleep, Calm thou mayst smile while all around thee weep."
THE FLIGHT OF TIME.
Age steals Upon us like a snowstorm in the night: How drear life's landscape now!—Henry Guy Carleton.
Whose hand, Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe.—Shakspeare.
We are intrusted with a few short years, and yet with more than we deserve. It is our misfortune to value those fleeting moments only when our stock of them is in danger of utter exhaustion. When the bright, beautiful days have vanished, and we find that, like the base Judean's pearl, those days were richer than all our tribe—our Vanderbilts, our Stanfords, and our Goulds—then we turn, in human kindness, to our younger associates, and sound our warning in their ears. According as our earnestness impresses them, they listen or they hearken not. A golden thought which the young should learn by heart, would run thus: However highly I have valued this day, I have "sold it on a rising market," and too cheaply. It would grow in value as I looked back upon it, even if I were to live to my eightieth year. This may not seem true to you, who wish for Saturday night, that you may receive your salary,—or to you, who long for Sunday, that you may gaze into a pair of eyes that have deep beauties for you—but when your mother in your babyhood, said a certain letter was "A,"
YOU HAD TO ACCEPT THE STATEMENT
without reservation, or you would not now be able to exercise the grandest of human faculties—to read, to glean the thoughts of the ages, and to receive, without toiling through the rugged regions of experience, the impressions and the inspirations which have come to man through all his labors and his pains. Sir William Hamilton has well said that implicit belief is at the foundation of all human happiness—the knowledge of the mind, as well as the certainty of the future life.
The mind is rarely broad enough in youth to survey the field of life with an impartial view. "The years creep slowly by, Lorena," was written in the true youthful, spendthrift spirit.
was left, as he supposed, inexhaustible riches. He threw away his money as many of us throw away our lives, and his money lasted him two years. Had his life been equally at his disposal, he would have been in the hands of the pale Receiver, Death, when his oil-wells passed to other owners. Having so precious a pearl, therefore, as this life, let us make its setting a thing of beauty. Let us invest our moments as
THE WISE MAN,
who, instead of buying on time and paying eight per cent. interest, saves his earnings and puts them out at eight per cent. interest, thus reaping a difference of sixteen per cent., or nearly one-sixth of his yearly surplus. Every idea put into your head is invested at interest. Every expenditure of time which is a waste is a payment of interest, a corroding, double-acting agency of evil to your welfare.
YOU WANT TO SUCCEED IN THE WORLD,—
of course, you do! Look out, and do not let the thrifty men of brains lend you their ideas at that fatal eight per cent., which, in reality, means fully sixteen! Put into the deposit-vaults of your memory the diligent results of your study. Those you put in earliest will pay the most profit. When you are thirty years old there will be few with heavier coffers. You will have little need to complain of
FAVORITISM AND DISCRIMINATION
then. On the contrary, you will, strangely enough, hear many lay that very charge against those wise old men who have been observing you and peeping into your treasure-chests when you were not on the watch. To the man, fortunate in his youth in having been
who has not misspent a moment of his time, "the thought of the last bitter hour" will not "come like a blight," and there will be no "sad images of the stern agony." The wise and good man, who has the unmixed reverence of the great and the humble, whose "hoary head is a crown of glory," approaches his grave "like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me!" is the cry of a misspent life. If you have cast away a portion of your existence, I beg of you to transfix this public notice before your companions that they may profit by your experience:
"Yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes, the gift of a kind Father!"
HASTE AND WASTE.
The value of Time should never be so foolishly conceived as to urge a man or a woman to that hurry which shows a thing to be too big for him who undertakes it. God makes Time. Can you, then, add to it? "Stay a while to make an end the sooner." You do not gain an hour by robbing yourself of your sleep. You do not gain in force by enlarging the wheel that carries your belting. If your constitution require eight hours' sleep, then go to your bed at ten o'clock and rise like "the sun rejoicing in the east," fresh-nerved and forceful, apt to carry all before you. Do not encourage those tempters who come to you asking you to break into the storehouse of your vitality and rob yourself of two, three, and often four hours of your rest, leaving you, in the bankruptcy of after-life a trembling alarmist, subject to the replevins of rheumatic muscles and the reprisals of revengeful nerves. Remember that age comes upon us like a snowstorm in the night, and that the mill will never grind with the water that has passed. Time is the stern corrector of fools; "Wisdom walks before it, Opportunity with it, and Temperance behind it. He that has made it his friend will have little to fear from his enemies, but he that has made it his enemy will have little to hope from his friends."
'Tis sweet to hear the honest watchdog's bark Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home; 'Tis sweet to know that there is an eye will mark Our coming, and look brighter when we come.—Byron.
An elegant sufficiency, content, Retirement, rural, quiet, friendship, books, Ease and alternate labor, useful life, Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven.—Thomson.
'Mid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. —J.H. Payne, in the Opera of "Clari."
No word in the English language approaches in sweetness the sound of this group of letters. Out of this grand syllable rush memories and emotions always chaste, and always noble. The murderer in his cell, his heart black with crime, hears this word, and his crimes have not yet been committed; his heart is yet pure and free; in his mind he kneels at his mother's side and lisps his prayers to God that he, by a life of dignity and honor, may gladden that mother's heart; and then he weeps, and for a while is not a murderer. The Judge upon his bench deals out the dreaded justice to the scourged, and has no look of gentleness. But breathe this word into his ear, his thoughts fly to his fireside; his heart relents; he is no longer Justice, but weak and tender Mercy.
What makes that small, unopened missive so precious to that great rough man? Why, 'tis from Home—from Home, that spot to which his heart is tied with unseen cords and tendrils tighter than the muscles which hold it in his swelling chest. Perhaps he left his Home caring little for it at the time. Perhaps harsh necessity drove him from its tender roof to lie beneath
THE THATCH OF AVARICE.
It does not matter. As the great river broadens in the Spring, so do his feelings swell and overflow his nature now. Why does he tremble,—that rough, weather-beaten man? Because there is but one place on the great earth where "an eye will mark his coming and grow brighter." If that beacon still burns for him, he can continue his voyage. If it has gone out, if anything has happened to it, his way is dark; nothing but the abiding hand of the Great Father can steady his helm and hold him to his desolate course.
The man who wandered "mid pleasures and palaces," had no Home, and when he died he died on the bleak shores of Northern Africa, and was buried where he died, at the city of Tunis, where he held the office of United States Consul. "To Adam," says Bishop Hare, "Paradise was Home. To the good among his descendants,
HOME IS PARADISE."
"Are you not surprised," writes Dr. James Hamilton, "to find how independent of money peace of conscience is, and how much happiness can be condensed in the humblest home? A cottage will not hold the bulky furniture and sumptuous accommodations of a mansion; but if love be there, a cottage will hold as much happiness as might stock a palace." "To be happy at home," writes Dr. Johnson in the Rambler, "is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution." In the mind of the good there gather about the old Home
HALO UPON HALO OF FOND THOUGHT,
of nearly idolatrous memory. Upon this very green, the joyous march of youth went on. Here the glad days whirled round like wheels. At morn the laugh was loud; at eve the laughter rang. To-day, perhaps the most joyous of the flock lies in the earth. Perhaps the chief spirit of the wildest gambols is bent with sharp affliction; the one that loved his mother best is in a foreign land; the one that doubled her small cares with dolls goes every week to gaze at little gravestones, and the one that would not stay in bed upon the sun's bright rise now sits in awful blindness. You cannot rob these hearts of their sweet memories. The mystic keyword unlocks the gates. The peaceful waters flow; the thirsty soul is satisfied.
THE LONG AGO.
A lady opens a short epistle from her brother. He is rich, successful, busy, in short driven, cannot visit her at a certain date, regrets, with love, etc., all in ten short lines. What does this dry notice tell? It tells of a buffalo-robe which, by much strategy, can be secured from father's study; it tells of a daring, rollicking boy who has got the strategy and will soon get the buffalo-robe. It tells of two boys and three girls, all gathered in the robe, with the rollicking one as fireman and engineer, making the famous trip down the stairs which shall tumble them all into the presence of a parent who will make a weak demonstration of severity, clearly official, and merely masking a very evident inclination to try a trip on the same train.
WHERE WAS THIS?
Why at the dear old Home, in the Long Ago. Who was the fireman and engineer? Why, this great, pompous man of business, whose short note his sister has just laid down—of course, he was the fireman and the engineer!
We see the sister of Rembrandt, the painter, traveling weary miles to the house of the brother whom in youth she shielded from the wrath of a drunken father, whose rude pictures she concealed from eyes that would have looked upon them in anger. Now he is the most celebrated painter of his time. He is rich beyond the imagination of his humble contemporaries. He never receives people into his stronghold.
TWO GREAT DOGS GUARD THE ENTRANCE.
Into a gloomy portal the aged sister enters, and soon the miser and the good angel of his past are together. There they sit in the dusk, and recall, after sixty years of separation, the scenes of the Home which existed eighty years before! We marvel at a word that comes along a cable under the ocean. Why should we not also wonder at a little word that can sound across the awful stretch of eighty years, through
AN OCEAN OF LIFE,
stormy with fearful disappointments, boisterous with seasons of success, and desolate with the drift, the slime, and the fungus of miserly greed!
Says Dickens: "If ever household affections and loves are graceful things, they are graceful in the poor. The ties that bind the wealthy and proud to Home may be forged on earth, but those which link the poor man to his humble hearth are of the true metal, and bear the stamp of heaven."
"If men knew what felicity dwells in the cottage of a godly man," writes Jeremy Taylor, "how sound he sleeps, how quiet his rest, how composed his mind, how free from care, how easy his position, how moist his mouth, how joyful his heart, they would never admire the noises, the diseases, the throngs of passions, and the violence of unnatural appetites that fill the house of the luxurious and the heart of the ambitious."
It has happened within a hundred years that men of private station have become Kings. One of the severest trials of their exalted lot has been the disaster which came upon their homes.
KINGS HAVE NO HOMES.
I am told that the Presidents of the United States have complained very naturally that they are denied that privacy which is accorded to the lowliest citizen in the land. It should content the possessor of a Home that he has that which Kings cannot have, and which if it be bright and free from wrong, is more valuable than palaces and marble halls. Of this golden right of asylum in the Home, Abraham Cowley has written: "Democritus relates, as if he gloried in the good fortune of it, that when he came to Athens, nobody there did so much as take notice of him; and Epicurus lived there very well, that is, lay hid many years in his gardens, so famous since that time, with his friend Metrodorus; after whose death, making, in one of his letters, a kind commemoration of the happiness which they two had enjoyed together, he adds at last that he thought it no disparagement to those great felicities of their life, that, in the midst of that most talked of and talking country in the world, they had lived so long, not only without fame, but almost without being heard of; and yet, within a very few years afterward, there were
NO TWO NAMES OF MEN MORE KNOWN
or more generally celebrated. If we engage into a large acquaintance and various familiarities, we set open our gates to the invaders of most of our time; we expose our life to an ague of frigid impertinences which would make a wise man tremble to think of."
What makes the remembrance of the old Home so happy? Was it not because there the storms of life were turned away from us by those who bore the blasts to keep us in our innocence? And now that future which then was on our horizon has neared us and is our zenith, the centre of our heavens. About us are
PRATTLING LITTLE ONES
who in the far-off years will clothe this house about with that holy mantle which will give it the right to that same grand title, Home. Can we not, in thinking of the good old Home, stand a little nearer to the blast and warm some tiny heart a little more? Does the merry laugh sing out as it did in our own youth? Then this is indeed a Home, growing each day more sacred in the mind of those fledglings who will so soon fly from the nest to beat a fluttering and a weary way through the tempests that will encompass them. A Christmas-tree, a picnic, a May-day festival, make trouble for limbs already weary with labor, but
IT IS THE WEARINESS AND THE SELF-SACRIFICE
as well as the mirth and the innocence which have girt this great word round about with its bright girdle of true glory. "Suffer little children to come unto me," says the Lord Jesus, "and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." We may say likewise, following the beauteous expression of our Savior, "Suffer little children to come into our homes, and forbid them not their mirth and their joy, for their contentment is now the one lesson that will take deep hold on their lives, and their souls will grow rapidly in such surroundings." Says the poet Southey: "A house is never perfectly furnished for enjoyment unless there is a child in it rising three years old, and a kitten rising six weeks."
"He is the happiest," says Goethe, "be he King or peasant, who finds peace in his Home." Especially should
THE YOUNG MAN
be taught the value of a Home. If his advisers lay before him the lesson of life in all its aspects, he will indeed be a prodigal if he have not a Home of his own almost immediately upon leaving the fatherly roof. There are no reasons, no exceptions, which relieve the healthy, able-bodied young man from an early advance on the enemies who threaten the welfare of the citizen. The strongest fortification which the human heart can throw up against temptation is the Home. Certain men are almost invincible against the onslaughts of the many base allurements which wreak such misery on all sides of us. Why are they so firm? It is because a glorious example has stood before their minds, a liberal and older knowledge of the world has aided their early endeavors, and a plentiful advice has fastened in their understandings the wisdom of virtue and industry. If your sons have Homes of their own, you can leave them, as a great General leaves his lieutenants to occupy a country, here a fortress held in safety, there a cantonment with natural defenses, and there a "city on a hill," while you advance into those other regions which are written on the map of your destiny, "sustained by the unfaltering trust" that you have kept the great obligation imposed on you, and handled your forces for the best advantage of the cause you served.
DUTIES OF PARENTS.
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea how to shoot.—Thomson.
By the general voice of mankind, children are held to be a blessing to the good. Where the bonds of love do not tighten as the children grow, it is like those cases where the chords and muscles do not fasten together after a hurt—there has been malpractice. Let us not live like quacks. There are some general rules in life which will lead us toward a greater enjoyment of our children's lives. Through them and their issue we become immortal on this earth. Death cannot sweep us down entirely. We leave our lives set in a younger cast of flesh, to hold the fight against the enemy. While they thus serve us, to guard us from extinction, we also stand as their ambassadors in heaven, presently to go on our mission,—first to finish our own preparations, and then to begin those of our offspring, who will follow in our footsteps. Says Shakspeare: "The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven's lieutenants." Our experience teaches us that virtue and honesty are in themselves great rewards. Whether we be virtuous and honest matters little in our estimation of the value of those qualities. The thief, quaking before the Judge, cannot but compare his own lot with that of the good man who sits above him. The one has followed every bent of his inclination, which gradually became more and more capricious, more difficult to satisfy. The other put on a steadying curb in early life, denied himself nine times where he humored himself once, and
FINALLY HAD A CHARACTER
which made few demands upon him, and whose demands were decent and in order. Thus "some as corrupt in their morals as vice could make them, have yet been solicitous to have their children soberly, virtuously, and piously brought up." We therefore, on every ground, must teach our children religion, dignity, and probity. "Parents," says Jeremy Taylor, "must give good example and reverent deportment in the presence of their children. And all those instances of charity which usually endear each other—sweetness of conversation, affability, frequent admonition—all significations of love and tenderness, care and watchfulness, must be expressed toward children; that they may look upon their parents as their friends and patrons, their defence and sanctuary, their treasure and their guide."
FATHER AND SON.
Says Sir R. Steele: "It is the most beautiful object the eyes of man can behold to see a man of worth and his son live in an entire, unreserved correspondence. The mutual kindness and affection between them give an inexpressible satisfaction to all who know them. It is a sublime pleasure which increases by the participation. It is as sacred as friendship, as pleasurable as love, and as joyful as religion. This state of mind does not only dissipate sorrow which would be extreme without it, but enlarges pleasures which would otherwise be contemptible. The most indifferent thing has its force and beauty when it is spoken by a kind father, and an insignificant trifle has its weight when offered by a dutiful child. I know not how to express it, but I think I may call it a transplanted self-love."
"The time will be coming—is come, perhaps—when your young people must decide on the course and main occupation of their future lives. You will expect to have a voice in the matter. Quite right, if a voice of counsel, of remonstrance, of suggestion, of pointing out unsuspected difficulties, of encouragement by developing the means of success. Such a voice as that from an elder will always be listened to. But perhaps your have already settled in your own mind the calling to be followed, and you mean simply to call on the youngster to accept and register your decree on the opening pages of his autobiography. This is, indeed a questionable proceeding, unless you are perfectly assured of what the young man's unbiased choice will be."
"Certain it is," said Addison, "that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as that of a father to a daughter. He beholds her both with and without regard to her sex. In love to our sons there is ambition, but in that to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express." "There is, however, an unkind measure by which a few persons strive to avoid living by themselves in their old age. They selfishly prevent their children (principally their daughters) from marrying, in order to retain them around them at home. Certainly matches are now and then projected which it is the duty of a parent to oppose; but there are two kinds of opposition, a conscientious and sorrowful opposition, and an egotistical and captious opposition, and men and women, in their self-deception, may sometimes mistake the one for the other. 'Marry your daughters lest they marry themselves, and run off with the ploughman or the groom' is an axiom of worldly wisdom. Marry your daughters, if you can do so satisfactorily, that they may become
HAPPY WIVES AND MOTHERS,
fulfilling the destiny allotted to them by their Great Creator. Marry them, if worthy suitors offer, lest they remain single and unprotected after your departure. Marry them, lest they say, in their bitter disappointment and loneliness, 'Our parents thought only of their own comfort and convenience. We now find that our welfare and settlement in life was disregarded!' But I am sure my hard-hearted comrade in years," continues this aged writer, "that you are more generous to your own dear girls than to dream of preventing the completion of their own little romance in order to keep them at home, pining as your waiting minds."
One of the most learned observations to parents has been made by Lord Burleigh. "Bring thy children up," said he, in "learning and obedience, yet without outward austerity. Give them good countenance and convenient maintenance, according to thy ability; otherwise thy life will seem their bondage, and what portion thou shalt leave them at thy death, they will thank death for it, and not thee!"
"I suppose it never occurs to parents," says John Foster, in his Journal, "that to throw vilely-educated young people on the world is, independently of the injury to the young people themselves, a positive crime, and of very great magnitude; as great, for instance, as burning their neighbor's house, or poisoning the water in his well. In pointing out to them what is wrong, even if they acknowledge the justness of the statement, one cannot make them feel a sense of guilt, as in other proved charges. That they love their children extenuates to their consciences every parental folly that may at last produce in the children every desperate vice." As to this matter of education,
OUR GREAT SCHOOLS
have taken it largely out of the parents' hands to guide the course of instruction, and where this would be done logically, I cannot but feel it is to the disadvantage of the child; but the system is built for public, not for individual benefit, and will probably do the greatest good to the greatest number. If we could have a little less Latin and a little better spelling, a little less long Latin and a little more good short Saxon I believe our youth would make their mark easier. Our young people dislike interest tables and are delighted with long words. Under the present system and popular taste, our children despise
THE LANGUAGE OF THE BIBLE
until they are thirty years old, whereafter they gradually learn that the very essence of artful language is contained in its pages. There is not much need of a long word when a short one sounds better. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters." How like the ripple of a brook the syllables drop from the tongue! The fall of the voice, and the fall of the idea, make the passage a lovely instance of the highest art in poetical expression. If our youth could be taught respect, attention, multiplication and division, spelling, short words, short sentences, Bible, Shakspeare, and geography, and could spend less time conjugating foreign verbs, there would be a really higher grade of intelligence in the end, perhaps, and there would, above all, be more of that glorious independence of mind which makes a thing worthy of commendation because it is appreciated, not because somebody else has said it is good.
The Catholics say that if they may have the spiritual culture of the child till he is ten years of age, they will willingly surrender him into the hands of the teachers of any other faith, resting secure in the permanency of early teachings. The great value of early religious instruction has always been conceded by the most learned. "The first thing, therefore," says Dr. Priestly, "that a Christian will naturally inculcate upon his child, as soon as he is capable of receiving such impressions, is the knowledge of his Maker, and a steady principle of obedience to Him; the idea of his living under a constant inspection and government of an invisible being, who will raise him from the dead to an immortal life, and who will reward and punish him hereafter according to his character and actions here.
ON THESE PLAIN PRINCIPLES
I hesitate not to assert as a Christian, that religion is the first rational object of education. Whatever be the fate of my children in this transitory world, about which I hope I am as solicitous as I ought to be, I would, if possible, secure a happy meeting with them in a future and everlasting life."
"A suspicious parent makes an artful child," says Haliburton. A tender parent makes a wayward son. A cruel parent makes a timid son. Be harsh when harshness is necessary, but be kind when kindness is needful, for as the grass of the fields needs the light of the sun, so does the human heart yearn for sympathy and kindness, in all the years of its wonderful growth. Parents may in a great measure do much of the teaching which that
NOTORIOUSLY HARSH SCHOOLMASTER, EXPERIENCE,
deals out, who beats our boys and girls so brutally. I cannot, in closing this chapter, do better than to quote the words of wise old Roger Ascham: "He hazardeth sore that maketh wise by experience. An unhappy sailor he is that is made wise by many shipwrecks, a miserable merchant that is neither rich nor wise but after some bankrouts. It is a marvelous pain to find a short way by long wandering. He needs must be a swift runner that runneth fast out of his way. And look well upon the former life of those few who have gathered, by long experience, a little wisdom and some happiness; and when you do consider what mischief they have committed, what dangers they have escaped (and yet twenty for one do perish in the adventure) then think well with yourself whether you would that your own son should come to wisdom and happiness by such experience or no."
BROTHER AND SISTER
The noble sister of Publicola, The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle, That's curdled by the frost from purest snow, And hangs on Dian's temple.
But good my brother, Do not as some ungracious pastors do, Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven, Whilst like a puffed and reckless libertine, Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own rede.—Shakspeare.
There has always been a charm for me in the speech of the haughty Coriolanus concerning Valeria, the sister of Publicola. There is such a noble alliance of the brother and the sister. The one is a man in high regard; therefore his sister likewise takes on those correlative qualities which make her the moon of Rome, the Goddess Diana, as it were. The young man of good quality will begin his life with an exalted appreciation of his sister. He will give her that tender regard and assistance which is her gentle due, and she, in turn, will form her ideas of young men by the character of her brother, and, in choosing a man upon whom to settle her womanly affections, will be largely guided by her estimate of her brother's manhood. The young man can not over-estimate the importance of his influence in this connection. Depend upon it, if he be high-minded, courteous, attentive, self-sacrificing at the proper times,
HIS SISTER WILL DEMAND,
in the man who aspires to be her companion in life, the qualities of a high mind, a courteous demeanor, an attentive inclination, and a willingness to put aside self at the time that duty and manhood demand. The brother's acquaintances and associates are often the first young men introduced to the sister on terms of intimacy. If the brother lower the standard of his life, the colors of his house are also trailed. His family pride should be, and usually is, one of the strongest supports in holding him to a course of action that will retain the entire respect of his community. When a son with a sister grown plunges into ways of disrepute, there is no more sorrowful example of the utter selfishness of a depraved human heart.
HOW MUCH LESS GRASPING IS THE BURGLAR
who is not willing to let the hard-working citizen keep his earnings, but steals upon him in the night and robs him into poverty—how much less selfish, I say, is he than the brother who steals upon the fair young life of a pure, good maiden, brands her as the sister of a disreputable loafer, and leaves her to choose loafers for a husband, or marry a stranger who may afterward taunt her with her low connection! I can conceive of no keener spur to the young man of pride and purpose than to keep this view of things before him, that he may be worthy of the company of young men who, in turn, will be worthy of the company of his sister.
MANY OF THE NOBLEST YOUNG MEN
of the present day, when they go for a summer vacation, take their sisters with them. The act gives them their first true knowledge of the responsibilities attaching to the care of a woman—to the gravity of married life. It being cheaper, as a rule, for man and wife to travel together than for brother and sister, the brother has an idea of future expense awaiting him (after he shall have married) which is on the right side of an estimate—that is, the surplus side. The sister's mind is broadened by this kindness and self-sacrifice of the brother. She has a higher opinion of manhood, and her choice will fall all the higher up. What makes our finest girls often go through the forest of maidenhood rejecting the most promising staffs of support, and, finally, nearing the plains of spinsterhood, pick up in a panic
THE CROOKEDEST STICK OF THE LOT?
It is mainly the brother's fault. He has not shown her how much of a man he himself can be, and she has not noticed the manly qualities of many of the admirers whom she has passed by in disdain. A wise young woman should be on the lookout for gentleness and courage in man. If she finds those qualities—if she can only become aware they are there, her heart will relent in spite of her, and there will be no hesitancy in her final choice, nor regret in her final retrospect.
IN YOUR SISTER
you behold the exact complement of yourself. Yourself and herself, brother and sister, are the links which your parents have left to hold their minds, their qualities, their aggregated development and progression, to the earth. All that your parents were, yourself and your sister will perpetuate, adding the acquirements of your own lives. You have in your sister an opportunity for self-study without its like or equal. Where your sister is weak, there are you weak (naturally) also. Your vanity may conceal the fact in your own nature, but her character will express it to you.
STRENGTHEN UP THESE POINTS.
As the calker goes through the hold of the ship, peering intently for light, or listening for the trickling of water, so should you, in observing your sister's character and family peculiarities, find and calk up all the treacherous leaks in your own nature. Her carelessness is your forgetfulness. Mend it. Her heedlessness is undoubtedly your recklessness. Send out scouts. Her impatience is possibly your high temper. Hit yourself when you are in rage, and thus learn its folly. I know of a man who once came within an inch of braining his fellow-soldier. They were lying on the grass, when the fellow struck my friend a smart blow with the iron ramrod of a Springfield musket, all in fun, you know. My friend was like Cowper, who wrote:
The man who hails you Tom or Jack, And proves, by thumping on your back His sense of your great merit, Is such a friend as one had need Be very much his friend, indeed, To pardon or to bear it.
Well, he felt the smart of the iron ramrod, and his fury rose in a whirlwind; and he got up, took the musket by the barrel, raised it back for an awful blow, and was just about to crush the head of the joker when a white face and the simple word "Jim!" brought him to his senses. He dropped the musket and sank upon the grass in a paroxysm of excitement, but was saved from murder just by a hair's breadth. He had never curbed his temper before. Here he had been forced to overcome the fury of a building all in flames. The lesson sank deep into his heart. To-day nobody knows he has any temper at all.
THE SISTER'S INFLUENCE.
Again, as you are influential in the matter of the future prospects of your sister, and can probably elevate her lot by your aid in forming her character, so, too is she often, though to a smaller degree, potent in turning the tides of your life. She has dear friends of her own sex. They are at your house. They may come to see you by coming to see her. You meet these girls at your home, and, perhaps, some day you wake up in love. Now, if your sister, who admits these maidens into your home, has that true womanhood which is so admirable, you are certain to have fallen in love with one of the finest young women in town, and it is
A LUCKY DAY FOR YOU,
for young women usually keep away from young men for whose character they have no regard. Do not, however, get into the opinion that you are irresistible, or anywise attractive. It will give you many wounds. Young women detect masculine vanity of this order with a quickness that is appalling to the young man. They may have had no thought of you at all! They will then, all the readier, become influenced by your good points, and, above all, by your habitual good treatment of your sister. Be, therefore, on your guard, even in self-interest, which is a low guide of action, nevertheless—but
EVEN FOR THIS IGNOBLE REASON.
Watch over your sister, to protect her from any association whatever with bad young men, to minister to her wants, to help your parents minister to her health, and to love her with a sincere affection, for as long as you live, you will find her devotion unchangeable, through good and evil report. This same sister may be your companion all through your life. Where single life becomes the destiny of both brother and sister this often happens. In almost every neighborhood there are two persons thus domiciled, honorably fullfilling their duties to society, and often doing greater public service than any other two people of the community. Look therefore upon your sister as perhaps the best friend you will have
AFTER THE DEATH OF YOUR MOTHER.
Consider her as the person whose interests may be more closely allied with your own than those of any other soul on earth. It certainly cannot lessen your respect for the high relation she sustains toward your life and your happiness. Counsel her in exceeding kindness, for you will find her inclined to retort, as did Ophelia to her brother Laertes, at the head of this chapter, bidding you be sure you "reck your own rede" which was an ancient form of admonishing one to heed his own advice.
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: Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter darkness, But trailing clouds of glory, do we come From God who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy.—Wordsworth.
"Like virgin parchment," says Montaigne, "youth is capable of any inscription." Let us have only those inscriptions which will do us honor in the long years that the parchment will unroll before us. "Unless a tree has borne its blossoms in the spring," writes Bishop Hare, "you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn." All through the great history of Thiers, wherein he recites the scenes of the French revolution, the Consulate, the Empire, and the rock of St. Helena, there runs one consistent observation that youth is noble and magnanimous. The thousands of characters who "strut their brief hour" upon the stage in the terrible drama which this historian depicts are young and generous, lofty and incorruptible. Then they ripen into manhood, glory waits upon their comings and their goings, and they are soon between two masters, their interests and their consciences. A circumstance threatens their early resolutions, an event overturns their consciences, and a selfish, jealous, ambitious mind thenceforth guides the fortunes of a life.
HOW FORTUNATE FOR THE RACE OF MAN
that when the mind is least prejudiced with set beliefs and when the heart is kindliest, it lies in the power of those who have the young near them to bear them frequent counsel, and to strengthen the natural nobility of their natures!
A great deal can be accomplished in the early years of life. Many men have made all their fame in the morning, and enjoyed it through the rest of their lives. Alexander, Pompey, Hannibal, Scipio, Napoleon, Charles XII., Alexander Hamilton, Shelley, Keats, Bryant—hundreds of examples readily come to the recollection, showing how thoroughly the mind can be trusted even in its immaturity. Youth is beautiful. It is "the gay and pleasant spring of life, when joy is stirring in the dancing blood, and nature calls us with a thousand songs to share her general feast." "Keep true to the dreams of thy youth," sings Schiller. We love the young. "The girls we love for what they are," says Goethe, "young men, for what they promise to be." "The lovely time of youth," says Jean Paul Richter, "is
OUR ITALY AND GREECE,
full of gods and temples." Let not the Vandals and Goths of after-life swoop down upon this sunny region in our lives; yet if they do, may we not look upon our noble ruins, our Coliseum and our Parthenon, in a kind of classic love that shall endear and sanctify the rights of the young about us and lengthen out their "golden age." Youth should be young. Says Shakspeare: "Youth no less becomes
THE LIGHT AND CARELESS LIVERY THAT IT WEARS,
than settled age its sables and its weeds, importing health and graveness." Youth is like Adam's early walk in the Garden of Paradise. "The senses," says Edmund Burke, "are unworn and tender, and the whole frame is awake in every part." The dew lies upon the grass. No smoke of busy life has darkened or stained the morning of our day. The pure light shines about us. "If any little mist happen to rise," says Willmott, "the sunbeam of hope catches and glorifies it."
Youth is rash. It "skips like the hare over the meshes of good counsel," says Shakspeare. "Then let our nets and snares of benevolence be laid with the more cunning. Youth is a continual intoxication," says Rochefoucauld; "it is the fever of reason." We must cool this fever, spread around it cheering flowers of truth, bathe it in the water-brooks of gentleness and self-sacrifice. "Young men," according to Chesterfield, "are apt to think themselves wise enough, as drunken men are to think themselves sober enough," yet joined with this self-esteem, we find that "youth is ever confiding; and we can almost forgive its disinclination to follow the counsels of age, for the sake of the generous disdain with which it rejects suspicion." "How charming the young would be," writes Arthur Helps, "with their freshness, fearlessness, and truthfulness, if only—to take a metaphor from painting—they would make more use of grays and other neutral tints, instead of dabbing on so recklessly the strongest positives in color." Why should their colors not be rich? Are not the hues upon their cheeks as rich as the sunset?
DOES NOT THE CHERRY
"dab on" the scarlet and the carmine direct from the gorgeous sun himself? Age marvels at the happiness of youth. The sombre lessons of the world have left their marks on the mind of the one; the other has everything to learn. It would seem as though its residence had been (as the poet has written so beautifully at the head of the chapter) in some Paradise, whence, it issued to this earth, "trailing clouds of glory" as it came. Age has suffered from the heats and dust of the previous day, and sees in the blood-red "copper sun," only the indication of another march of weariness and thirst.
YOUTH BREATHES THE DEWY AIR,
and beholds only the roseate tints of the sunrise. Why should not its heart rejoice? Says Lord Lytton: "Let youth cherish the happiest of earthly boons while yet it is at its command; for there cometh a day to all 'when neither the voice of the lute nor the birds' shall bring back the sweet slumbers that fall on their young eyes as unbidden as the dews." "Youth holds no society with grief," says old Euripides. Perhaps, rather, it makes those "formal calls" which have no feeling in them.
THE LITTLE GIRL'S KITTEN DIES,
and the little human heart is inconsolable for half an hour. In half a day, when asked to tell her greatest grief, she will relate an accident to her doll, forgetting the poor kitten yet waiting for burial! How could those lips and cheeks retain their delicate tints if the wet seasons of grief set in with tropical intensity? Lord Lytton, often, in his highly colored writings, cries out "O youth! O youth!" and there is a world of regret in the exclamation. "O the joy of young ideas," sighs Hannah Moore, "painted on the mind, in the warm, glowing colors which fancy spreads on objects not yet known, when all is new and all is lovely!"
SIR WALTER RALEIGH
has justly claimed the respect and admiration of the world for many high qualities of mind. One of the most admirable of his remarks is an admonition to youth, which runs as follows: "Use thy youth so that thou mayest have comfort to remember it when it hath forsaken thee, and not sigh and grieve at the account thereof. Use it as the spring-time which soon departeth, and wherein thou oughtest to plant and sow all provisions for a long and happy life." But this is difficult to do. The march of youth is through a mountainous country. The scenery is changing, but the progress is not encouraging. "Self-flattered, unexperienced, high in hope when young," says the poet Young, "with sanguine cheer and streamers gay, we cut our cable, launch into the world, and fondly dream each wind and star our friend." How many youths have believed they would, by merit alone, rise to the Presidency of the United States—
THE FIRST MAN IN FIFTY MILLIONS!
Youth keeps a diary, into which it pours a volume of "thought" that seems a very mine of gems. Take up that chronicle at middle age and see its weak and driveling character. Observe the almost total lack of one idea that will aid you to some honorable end! And yet there is something touching even in the great trust and confidence of childhood. How sweet and true are the beautiful lines of Thomas Hood called "I remember, I remember:
I remember, I remember, The fir trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops Were close against the sky; It was a childish ignorance, But now 'tis little joy To know I'm further off from heaven Than when I was a boy.
Dr. Watts lays down to youth that it should have a decent and agreeable behavior among men, "a modest freedom of speech, a soft and elegant manner of address, a graceful and lovely deportment, a cheerful gravity and good humor, with a mind appearing ever serene under the ruffling accidents of life." This programme of action is far beyond the reach of a well-balanced adult, much further the inexperienced and untried mind of younger life. But the character which should attain to such angelic proportions would truly have a reverent place among men's memories.
Youth has no knowledge of God's power. The confidence that early years implant in the mind supplies an unsubstantial substitute. I have pictured to myself an illustration: A bright young man is present at a grand concert. It is between the parts. He bends suavely over the back of a lady's chair and talks sweet music to her ear. He says: "Could you not follow every thought of the composer in that symphony?" (which they have just heard). "And was not the effect sublime when the storm reached the heights of the mountains, and all the elements of Nature struggled so stubbornly?" And the young woman demurely gives him an assuring look which conserves all her interests; whereupon he backs off in triumph, and feels that the concert is worth his week's wages after all!
this young man at Grand Haven, on the western border of Lake Michigan, boards the structure of pine wood and ten-penny nails called the Alpena. The Alpena floats out into her last night—into the valley of the shadow of death. Presently the young man feels his vessel and his life trembling like a captive wild bird in a remorseless grasp. Anon this trembling grows into the awful, final, fatal paroxysms. Then suddenly the mind of the young man breaks from the shackles of vanity and self-sufficiency, and he views, for the first time, the visible forms of angered Nature. He recalls his white gloves, his former complete idea of a storm, his triumphant, au revoir retreat from the opera-box, and, as the discords of the Everlasting gradually resolve toward the diapason, the full chant, of His solemn eternity, the young man cries out, in a spirit of revelation, "What a worm am I!" and adds his own piteous tragedy to the unheard murmurs of bubbling death and muddy burial!
"REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR,
in the days of thy youth," says Solomon. "Train up a child in the way he should go," says the proverb, "and when he is old he will not depart from it." Be not afraid of the sneers of the ungodly. "As the cracking of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool." "The fairest flower in the garden of creation," says Sir James E. Smith, "is a young mind, offering and unfolding itself to the influence of Divine Wisdom, as the heliotrope turns its sweet blossoms to the sun."
Lord Bacon, in his forty-third essay, thus sums up the qualities of youth: "Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled business. For the experience of age, in things that fall within the compass of it, directeth them; but in new things abuseth them. The errors of young men are the ruin of business;
BUT THE ERRORS OF AGED MEN
amount to but this, that more might have been done, or sooner. Young men in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end without consideration of the means and degrees, pursue some few principles which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws unknown inconveniences; use extreme remedies at first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or retract them—like an unready horse, they will neither stop nor turn."
THE HARD-PAN SERIES.
Now with this wise parallel of youth and age before me, with the importance which I attach to this period of life as the precise moment at which the final cast of the clay of life is set, and with the belief in Goethe's statement that the destiny of any nation, at any given time, depends on the opinions of its young men under twenty-five years of age, I beg to call the especial attention of the young to a Hard-Pan Series of ten chapters which follow, devoted largely to just this forming-period of life, when the mould is ready and the governing characteristics are fast pouring in. I beg parents and preceptors, if they approve my efforts, to lend their aid in attracting toward these admonitions such consideration as their merit shall warrant, and I have so endeavored to dispose the bitterness of practical advice as to both somewhat cover its presence and gratify a youthful and adventurous literary taste.
PRUDENCE IN SPEECH.
Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar;
Do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new hatched unfledged comrade
Give every man thine ear but few thy voice; Take each man's counsel but reserve thy judgment. —Shakspeare.
You live. To live is costly. Who will pay for it? Your soul cries out "I." But how will you get the money? "Oh! I'll get it!"—that is the confident cry of youth. The confidence oozes out as life lengthens—and yet there are certain lines of action which, if followed, in this bright land of liberty, are sure to result in the accumulation of something for our old age.
THE MYSTERIOUS JUNIUS
one of the great exemplars in the matter of keeping a secret wrote to his publisher: "Let all your views in life, therefore, be directed to a solid, however moderate independence. Without it no man can be happy, nor even honest." This celebrated sentence was written by a man who was refusing a proffer of money for his writings (then in print) and it should not be read as inspiring one to avarice. The vice of avarice is more honest than envy, but is not the less unpleasant and reprehensible. Let us suppose you are fortunate enough to have some grit and spunk about you. At the earliest point practicable you get something to do. Perhaps at a Fourth of July celebration your Sunday school teacher trusts you in a booth to deal out lemonade and handle money. It is a good beginning. Perhaps you are
ESTABLISHED BEHIND A COUNTER
in a general store and intrusted with the great secret of a cost-mark, fully as important a secret, let me assure you, as you can buy in the most secret of places! What spot in your character will "wear down" the quickest? When you were little it was your toes. They were copper-plated. Now the wear falls where copper will not protect you. Nothing but experience will now serve as the copper did then. The first place that "rubs" will be