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that the most terrible evils are just kept at bay by incessant efforts. Now for a moment, perhaps, the foe is driven to a little distance; and a breathing-time is secured;-hope alights at the threshold in her hurried course to bless more favored homes.-Comfort makes a longer stay. But we dare hardly speak of happiness as belonging to this stage of life; for life is still a warfare that has no truce.
In the third stage of society, as we ascend, man is found so far to have gained advantage upon want, as that his home is no longer its residence. Woe and fear do indeed visit his home; but existence is not the prey of either. Enjoyment is seen there, and courted daily. Pleasure and comfort are entertained. Ease and indulgence are not unknown, and take their turn with serious cares.
But we must look higher for the climax of earthly good; and shall find it when we visit the palaces and halls where reside beauty, honor, favor; with art, splendor, revelry;—where the elastic power which high privilege draws from security and abundance, gives grace to the human form, and seems to animate every faculty. In these mansions of delight, if sorrow (treasonable intruder) ever sets his foot, he is instantly disguised in pomps and drapery, that his palid visage and shrivelled form may not offend the eye. Even death comes to palaces in an obsequious livery of plumes, and velvet, and cloth of gold!
They went from city to city, from province to province, from nation to nation; they dispersed themselves to the extremities of the earth; they attacked abuses the most ancient, and the most authorized; they took from the most barbarous people the idols which their ancestors had long worshiped; they overthrew altars which the incense and the homage of many ages had rendered respectable; they preached the opprobrium and the foolishness of the cross, to the most polished nations, who prided themselves in their eloquence, their philosophy, and their wisdom. The obstacles which every thing presented to their zeal, instead of discouraging them, animated them, and seemed to announce to them success; the whole world conspired against them, and they were stronger than the world; crosses and gibbets were shown to them to compel them to be silent, but they replied, that they could not forbear to publish what
they had seen and heard; and they proclaimed upon the house tops what they were forbidden to trust to the ear in private. They expired under the hand of public executioners; new torments were invented to exterminate them, and with them the doctrine which they preached; but their blood still preached it after their death; nay, the more the earth was inundated with it, the more new disciples to the gospel did it produce.
And let the sacred obligations which have devolved on this generation, and on us, sink deep into our hearts. Those are daily dropping from among us, who established our liberty and our government. The great trust now descends to new hands. Let us apply ourselves to that which is presented to us, as our appropriate object. We can win no laurels in a war for independence. Earlier and worthier hands have gathered them all. Nor are there places for us by the side of Solon, and Alfred, and other founders of states. Our fathers have filled them. But there remains to us a great duty of defense and preservation; and there is opened to us, also, a noble pursuit, to which the spirit of the times strongly invites us. Our proper business is improvement. Let our age be the age of improvement. In a day of peace, let us advance the arts of peace and the works of peace. Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered. Let us cultivate a true spirit of union and harmony. In pursuing the great objects which our condition points out to us, let us act under a settled conviction, and an habitual feeling, that these twenty-four states are one country. Let our conceptions be enlarged to the circle of our duties. Let us extend our ideas over the whole of the vast field in which we are called to act. Let our object be, our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country. And, by the blessing of God, may try itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which the world may gaze with admiration forever.
Behold the child, by nature's kindly law,
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,
These build as fast as knowledge can destroy;
Even mean self-love becomes, by force divine,
I do much wonder, that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love: and such a man is Claudio. I have known, when there was no music with him but the drum and fife; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe: I have known, when he would have walked ten miles afoot, to see a good armor; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man, and a soldier; and now is he turned orthographer; his words are a
very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair; yet I am well: another is wise; yet I am well: another is virtuous; yet I am well: but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not near me; noblé, or not I for an angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what color it please God.
THE CHARACTER OF A GOOD PARSON.-DRYDEn.
A parish priest was of the pilgrim-train ;
Rich was his soul, though his attire was poor,
But sweetly tempered awe; and softened all he spoke.
And warned the sinner with becoming zeal;
He taught the gospel rather than the law;
HONOR AND VIRTUE,-COLTON.
Honor is unstable, and seldom the same; for she feeds upon opinion, and is as fickle as her food. She builds a lofty structure on the sandy foundation of the esteem of those who are of all beings the most subject to change. But virtue is uniform and fixed, because she looks for approbation only from Him, who is the same yesterday-to-day-and forever. Honor is the most capricious in her rewards. She feeds us with air, and often pulls down our house, to build our monument. She is contracted in her views, inasmuch as her hopes are rooted in earth, bounded by time, and terminated by death. But virtue is enlarged and infinite in her hopes, inasmuch as they extend beyond present things, even to eternal; this is their proper sphere, and they will cease only in the reality of deathless enjoyment. In the storms, and in the tempests of life, honor is not to be depended on, because she herself partakes of the tumult; she also is buffeted by the wave, and borne along by the whirlwind. But virtue is above the storm, and has an anchor sure and steadfast, because it is cast into heaven. The noble Brutus worshiped honor, and in his zeal mistook her for virtue. In the day of trial he found her a shadow and a name. But no man can purchase his virtue too dear; for it is the only thing whose value must ever increase with the price it has cost us. Our integrity is never worth so much as when we have parted with our all to keep it.