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quiet, and laid her open to much disappointment from ingratitude. Her laxity in this respect was not, however, accompanied by any disregard of order and regularity. When in health. she was punctiliously exact in the economy of her household; in observing rules, and times, and seasons; and more especially in the dispensation of her charities, and the discharge of all her pecuniary obligations.
She composed with remarkable rapidity, seldom reforming or retouching her sentences; and the same ability and habit appeared in all her transactions, small or great; her promptitude in business being stimulated by her anxiety to save others from inconvenience or disappointment. Similar motives indu
ced her to arrange her papers and accounts with minute exactness. Common sense and business-like habits prevented the balance of her mind from being ever disturbed by her exercise of thought, or excursions into the regions of taste or imagination. The energy of her mind, in carrying into execution any purpose which had been adopted after sufficient consideration, was very remarkable. In conformity with this part of her character, her plan was, in any new resolution which involved the exercise of self-denial, to contend with the most difficult part of the undertaking first, after which she used to say she found the remaining sacrifices comparatively easy to be submitted to. On this principle, having resolved to desist from going to the theater, about the time her play of "Percy" was revived, she determined to make that the immediate occasion for carrying her new resolution into practice. Mrs. Siddons was then at the height of her glory, and was to act the part of the heroine of the tragedy, a character which she was said to exhibit with remarkable success; and Mrs. Hannah More was in the midst of a brilliant society of friends and admirers, who all attended the representation; but here she was determined to make her first stand against this particular temptation, and to break the spell of the enchantment while standing in the center of the magic circle.
Another anecdote will show the same principle brought into exercise on a very different occasion. As her limited income began to be sensibly diminished at one time, by her traveling expenses, she determined to perform her journeys in stagecoaches; and in order to overcome at once every obstacle that pride might interpose, she resolved to pay a visit to a nobleman, on which she was about to set out, in one of these vehicles; which, as there was a public road through the park, set her
down at the door of the mansión. She has more than once described her conflicting sensations when his lordship, proceeding through a line of servants in rich liveries, came to hand her out of her conveyance,—a conveyance at that time much less used than at present by persons of high respectability. Thus it was the policy of this able tactician to commence her operations by a decisive blow, whereby the main strength of the opposing force was at once broken and dispersed, and her victory made easy and secure.
Those who lived most with her pronounced her to be a person most easy to be lived with. None of those little petty peevishnesses with which some are so fond of spicing their intercourse and their friendships, were played off in her commerce with her friends or dependants. As she was scrupulous of giving offense, so she suspected none of intending it towards herself. She lived in an immunity from quarrels, and above the need of explanation. Her passage through life was that of a vessel on the bosom of a lake, with its canvass spread to catch the breeze, that whispered benisons as it bore it along to its quiet haven.
See to it that your intercourse with the world is never characterized by the spirit of exaggeration. It would seem that, in many minds, there is a constitutional tendency to this ;-a disposition to deal in the marvelous at the expense of sober verity. And it must be acknowledged that some professors of religion are unguarded in this respect, to a degree which subjects even their christian character to suspicion. They may not indeed utter things in which there is no semblance of reality; but their imagination throws around the sober fact so much imposing drapery, that the impression which is communicated is palpably false; and besides, there is always reason to fear, from the nature of habit, that the man who indulges a passion for exaggeration, will, from making a large story out of scanty materials, gradually acquire the power of conjuring up the materials themselves. Oh, how cutting it is to hear worldly men say of a professor of religion the moment his back is turned"that man's statements are to be received with caution. What he says may be true; but there is nothing in his character to convey any assurance of it."
Beware then of the very beginning of such a habit. Be sure that all your statements are conformed to the literal verity. Remember, that if you are professedly engaged in narrating facts, you cannot call imagination to your aid but at the expense of truth. If you speak on subjects concerning which you are in doubt, see that the impression you convey is exactly conformed to your honest views; and that you do not appear to be confident when you are really doubtful. In this way you will leave upon the world a delightful impression of that godly simplicity which the gospel enjoins; but, by a different course, you will certainly subject yourself to the imputation of being deficient in one of the cardinal moral virtues.
THE LANDING OF COLUMBUS.-IRVING.
The morning dawned-he saw before him a level and beautiful island, several leagues in extent, of great freshness and verdure, and covered with trees like a continual orchard. Though every thing appeared in the wild luxuriance of untamed nature, yet the island was evidently populous, for the inhabitants were seen issuing from the woods, and running from all parts to the shore, where they stood gazing at the ships. They were all perfectly naked, and from their attitudes and gestures appeared to be lost in astonishment. Columbus made
signal for the ships to cast anchor, and the boats to be manned and armed. He entered his own boat, richly attired in scarlet, and bearing the royal standard; whilst Martin Alonzo Pinzon, and Vincent Yanez, his brother, put off in company in their boats, each bearing the banner of the enterprise emblazoned with a green cross, having on each side the letters F. and Y. surmounted by crowns, the initials of the Castilian monarchs, Fernando and Ysabel.
As they approached the shores, they were refreshed by the sight of the ample forests, which in those climates have extraordinary beauty of vegetation. They beheld fruits of tempting hue, but unknown kind, growing among the trees which overhung the shores. The purity and suavity of the atmosphere,
the crystal transparency of the seas which bathe these islands, give them a wonderful beauty, and must have had their effect upon the susceptible feelings of Columbus. No sooner did he land, than he threw himself upon his knees, kissed the earth, and returned thanks to God with tears of joy. His example was followed by the rest, whose hearts indeed overflowed with the same feelings of gratitude. Columbus then rising, drew his sword, displayed the royal standard, and assembling round him the two captains, with Rodrigo de Escobido, notary of the armament, Rodrigo Sanchez, and the rest who had landed, he took solemn possession in the name of the Castilian sovereigns, giving the island the name of San Salvador. Having complied with the requisite forms and ceremonies, he now called upon all present to take the oath of obedience to him, as admiral and viceroy, representing the persons of the sovereigns.
The feelings of the crew now burst forth in the most extravagant transports. They had recently considered themselves devoted men, hurrying forward to destruction; they now looked upon themselves as favorites of fortune, and gave themselves up to the most unbounded joy. They thronged around the admiral in their overflowing zeal. Some embraced him, others kissed his hands. Those who had been most mutinous and turbulent during the voyage, were now most devoted and enthusiastic. Some begged favors of him, as of a man who had already wealth and honors in his gift. Many abject spirits, who had outraged him by their insolence, now crouched as it were at his feet, begging pardon for all the trouble they had caused him, and offering for the future the blindest obedience to his commands.
The natives of the island, when, at the dawn of day, they had beheld the ships, with their sails set, hovering on their coast, had supposed them some monsters which had issued from the deep during the night. They had crowded to the beach, and watched their movements with awful anxiety. Their veering about, apparently without effort; the shifting and furling of their sails, resembling huge wings, filled them with astonishment. When they beheld the boats approach the shore, and a number of strange beings clad in glittering steel, or raiment of various colors, landing upon the beach, they fled in affright to their woods. Finding, however, that there was no attempt to pursue nor molest them, they gradually recovered from their terror, and approached the Spaniards with great awe, frequently prostrating themselves on the earth, and making
signs of adoration. During the ceremonies of taking possession, they remained gazing in timid admiration at the complexion, the beards, the shining armor, and splendid dresses of the Spaniards. The admiral particularly attracted their attention, from his commanding height, his air of authority, his dress of scarlet, and the deference which was paid him by his companions; all which pointed him out to be the commander. When they had still further recovered from their fears, they approached the Spaniards, touched their beards, and examined their hands and faces, admiring their whiteness. Columbus, pleased with their simplicity, their gentleness, and the confidence they reposed in beings who must have appeared to them so strange and formidable, suffered their scrutiny with perfect acquiescence. The wondering savages were won by this benignity; they now supposed that the ships had sailed out of the crystal firmament which bounded their horizon, or that they had descended from above on their ample wings, and that these marvelous beings were inhabitants of the skies.
THE PAST AND PRESENT.-COLERIDGE.
There are two errors into which we easily slip when thinking of past times. One lies in forgetting in the excellence of what remains, the large overbalance of worthlessness that has been swept away. Ranging over the wide tracts of antiquity, the situation of the mind may be likened to that of a traveler unpeopled part of America, who is attracted to the burial place of one of the primitive inhabitants. It is conspicuous upon an eminence, "a mount upon a mount!" He digs into it, and finds that it contains the bones of a man of mighty stature; and he is tempted to give way to a belief, that as there were giants in those days, so that all men were giants. But a second and wiser thought may suggest to him, that this tomb would never have forced itself upon his notice, if it had not contained a body that was distinguished from others, that of a man who had been selected as a chieftain or ruler for the very reason that he surpassed the rest of his tribe in stature, and who now lies thus conspicuously inhumed upon the mountain top, while the bones of his followers are laid unobtrusively together in their burrows upon the plain below. The second habitual error is, that in this comparison of ages we divide time