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Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
Thou, too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks, Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard, Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breastThou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low In adoration, upward from thy base Slow traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears, Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud, To rise before me-Rise, O ever rise, Rise like a cloud of incense, from the earth! Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills, Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven, Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky, And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
THE FALL OF NIAGARA.-BRAINARD.
Labitur et labetur.
The thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain While I look upward to thee. It would seem As if GoD poured thee from his "hollow hand," And hung his bow upon thy awful front; And spoke in that loud voice, which seemed to him.
Who dwelt in Patmos for his Savior's sake,
Deep calleth unto deep.
MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP.-MIlner.
When he had finished his prayers, having made mention of all whom he had ever known, small and great, noble and vulgar, and of the whole Catholic Church throughout the world, the hour of departing being come, they set him on an ass and led him to the city. The irenarch Herod, and his father Nicetes, met him, who taking him up into their chariot, began to advise him, asking, What harm is it to say, Lord Cæsar!-and to sacrifice and be safe?' At first he was silent, but being pressed, he said, I will not follow your advice.' When they could not persuade him, they treated him abusively, and thrust him out of the chariot, so that in falling he bruised his thigh. But he, still unmoved as if he had suffered nothing, went on cheerfully under the conduct of his guards to the Stadium. There the tumult being so great that few could hear any thing, a voice from heaven said to Polycarp, as he entered on the Stadium, 'Be strong, Polycarp, and behave yourself like a man.'-None saw the speaker, but many of us heard the voice.
When he was brought to the tribunal, there was a great tumult, as soon as it was generally understood that Polycarp was apprehended. The proconsul asked him, if he was Polycarp; to which he assented. The former then began to exhort him:- Have pity on thy own great age-and the like. Swear by the fortune of Cæsar-repent-say-Take away the athe
ists.' Polycarp, with a grave aspect, beholding all the multitude, waiving his hand to them, and looking up to heaven, said, 'Take away the atheists.' 'The proconsul urging him, and saying, Swear, and I will release thee,-reproach Christ;' Polycarp said, Eighty-and-six years have I served him, and he hath never wronged me, and how can I blaspheme my King who hath saved me?'
Beasts of each kind their followers spare;
"The world," says Locke, "has people of all sorts." As in the general hurry produced by the superfluities of some, and necessities of others, no man needs to stand still for want of employment, so in the innumerable gradations of ability, and endless varieties of study and inclination, no employment can be vacant for want of a man qualified to discharge it.
Such is probably the natural state of the universe; but it is so much deformed by interest and passion, that the benefit of this adaptation of men to things is not always perceived. The folly or indigence of those who set their service to sale, inclines them to boast of qualifications which they do not possess, and attempt business which they do not understand; and they who have the power of assigning to others the task of life, are seldom honest or seldom happy in their nominations. Patrons are corrupted by avarice, cheated by credulity, or overpowered by resistless solicitation. They are sometimes too strongly influenced by honest prejudices of friendship, or the prevalence of virtuous compassion. For, whatever cool reason may direct, it is not easy for a man of tender and scrupulous goodness to overlook the immediate effect of his own actions, by turning his eyes upon remoter consequences, and to do that which must give present pain, for the sake of obviating evil yet unfelt, or securing advantages in time to come. What is distant, is in
itself obscure, and, when we have no wish to see it, easily escapes our notice, or takes such a form as desire or imagination bestows upon it.
Every man might, for the same reason, in the multitudes that swarm about him, find some kindred mind with which he could unite in confidence and friendship; yet we see many struggling single about the world, unhappy for want of an associate, and pining with the necessity of confining their sentiments to their own bosoms.
This inconvenience arises, in like manner, from struggles of the will against the understanding. It is not often difficult to find a suitable companion, if every man would be content with such as he is qualified to please. But if vanity tempts him to forsake his rank, and post himself among those with whom no common interest or mutual pleasure can ever unite him, he must always live in a state of unsocial separation, without tenderness and without trust.
There are many natures which can never approach within a certain distance, and which, when any irregular motive impels them towards contact, seem to start back from each other by some invincible repulsion. There are others which immediately cohere whenever they come into the reach of mutual attraction, and with very little formality or preparation mingle intimately as soon as they meet. Every man, whom either business or curiosity has thrown at large into the world, will recollect many instances of fondness and dislike, which have forced themselves upon him without the intervention of his judgment; of dispositions to court some and avoid others, when he could assign no reason for the preference, or none adequate to the violence of his passions; of influence that acted instantaneously upon his mind, and which no arguments or persuasions could ever overcome.
Among those with whom time and intercourse have made us familiar, we feel our affections divided in different proportions, without much regard to moral or intellectual merit. Every man knows some whom he cannot induce himself to trust, though he has no reason to suspect that they would betray him; those to whom he cannot complain, though he never observed them to want compassion; those in whose presence he never can be gay, though excited by invitations to mirth and freedom; and those from whom he cannot be content to receive instruction, though they never insulted his ignorance by contempt or ostentation.
That much regard is to be had to those instincts of kindness and dislike, or that reason should blindly follow them, I am far from intending to inculcate: it is very certain, that by indulgence we may give them strength which they have not from nature; and almost every example of ingratitude and treachery proves, that by obeying them we may commit our happiness to those who are very unworthy of so great a trust. But it may deserve to be remarked, that since few contend much with their inclinations, it is generally vain to solicit the good will of those whom we perceive thus involuntarily alienated from us; neither knowledge nor virtue will reconcile antipathy; and though officiousness may for a time be admitted, and diligence applauded, they will at last be dismissed with coldness, or discouraged by neglect.
Some have indeed an occult power of stealing upon the affections, of exciting universal benevolence, and disposing every heart to fondness and friendship. But this is a felicity granted only to the favorites of nature. The greater part of mankind find a different reception from different dispositions; they sometimes obtain unexpected caresses from those whom they never flattered with uncommon regard, and sometimes exhaust all their arts of pleasing without effect. To these it is necessary to look round, and attempt every breast in which they find virtue sufficient for the foundation of friendship; to enter into the crowd, and try whom chance will offer to their notice, till they fix on some temper congenial to their own, as the magnet rolled in the dust collects the fragments of its kindred metal from a thousand particles of other substances.
Every man must have remarked the facility with which the kindness of others is sometimes gained by those to whom he never could have imparted his own. We are by our occupations, education, and habits of life, divided almost into different species, which regard one another, for the most part, with scorn and malignity. Each of these classes of the human race has desires, fears, and conversation, vexations and merriment, peculiar to itself; cares which another cannot feel; pleasures which he cannot partake; and modes of expressing every sensation which he cannot understand. That frolic which shakes one man with laughter, will convulse another with indignation; the strain of jocularity which in one place obtains treats and patronage, would in another be heard with indifference, and in a third with abhorrence.