Imatges de pÓgina

I feel a profounder reverence for a boy than for a man. 1 never meet a ragged boy in the street without feeling that I may owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned up under his coat.

As a giant tree absorbs all the elements of growth within its reach and leaves only a sickly vegetation in its shadow, so do towering great men absorb all the strength and glory of their surroundings and leave a dearth of greatness for a whole generation.

Young men talk of trusting to the spur of the occasion. That trust is vain. Occasions cannot make spurs. If you expect to wear spurs you must win them. If you wish to use them you must buckle them to your own heels before you go into the fight.

Poverty is uncomfortable, as I can testify; but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim for himself. In all my acquaintance I never knew a man to be drowned who was worth the saving.

There are times in the history of men and nations, when they stand so near the veil that separates mortals and immortals, time from eternity, and men from their God, that they can almost hear the beatings and feel the pulsations of the heart of the Infinite.

Power exhi itself under two distinct rms-strength and force--each possessing peculiar qualities and each perfect in its own sphere. Strength is typified by the oak, the rock, the mountain. Force embodies itself in the cataract the tempest, the thunderbolt.

We hold reunions, not for the dead, for there is nothing in all the earth that you and I can do for the dead. They are past our help and past our praise. We can add to them no glory-we can give to them no immortality. They do not need us, but forever and forevermore we need them.

Imagine if you can what would happen if to-morrow morning the railway locomotive and its corollary, the telegraph, were blotted from the earth. To what humble proportions mankind would be compelled to scale down the great enterprises they are now pushing forward with such He who would understand the real spirit of literature should not select authors of any one period alone, but rather go to the fountain-head, and trace the little rill as it courses along down the ages, broadening and deepening into the great ocean of thought which the men of the present are exploring.


Individuals may wear for a time the glory of our institutions, but they carry it not to the grave with them. Like raindrops from heaven, they may pass through the circle of the shining bow and add to its lustre, but when they have sunk in the earth again the proud arch still spans the sky and shines gloriously on.

I look forward with joy and hope to the day when our brave people, one in heart, one in their aspirations for freedom and peace, shall see that the darkness through which we have traveled was but a part of that stern but beneficent discipline by which the Great Dispenser of Events has been leading us on to a higher and nobler national life.

From the genius of our Government, the pathway to honorable distinction lies open to all. No post of honor so high but the poorest boy may hope to reach it. It is the pride of every American that many cherished names, at whose mention our hearts beat with a quicker bound, were worn by the sons of poverty, who conquered obscurity and became fixed stars in our firmament.

There is no horizontal stratification of society in this country like the rocks in the earth, that hold one class down below forevermore, and let another come to the surface to stay there forever. Our stratification is like the ocean,

where every individual drop is free to move, and where from the sternest depths of the mighty deep any drop may come up to glitter on the highest wave that rolls.

The scientific spirit has cast out the demons and presented us with nature, clothed in her right mind and living under the reign of law. It has given us for the sorceries of tho alchemist, the beautiful laws of chemistry; for the dreams of the astrologer, the sublime truths of astronomy; for the wild visions of cosmogony, the monumental records of geology; for the anarchy of diabolism, the laws of God.


[ocr errors]

“ Now John,” says apothecary Jones, “I'm going home to

tea, And soon there'll be a bearded man come in and ask for me, Then say, 'Are you the gentleman that ordered pills to-day?" And, if he says, I am the man, tell him what he's to pay.” Then Jones went home and John athirst some soda water

drew, Tried ginger syrup, then drank hock and sars’parilla too, Steered clear of pills, no powders took, abjured the tinc

tures all, But filled his mouth with that black stuff known as the

lic'rice ball. Then came the bearded gentleman for pills to make him

well, And asked for Jones and asked for pills, asked John the

price to tell. “Four-fifty's marked upon the box, which master said you'd

pay.” “Four-fifty !" quoth the gentleman,“ four-fifty did you say! Well now my lad, these pills must be compounded all of

gold; I'd like to know what's in 'em, if I may be so bold ?” “ Don't know,” says John, “ tart. antim's up and ipecac. will

rise, You can't keep those things down you know and up must

go the price.” “Good gracious! boy, no antim's in that recipe-just smell; But here are fifteen cents, my lad, you know 'twill pay you

well." John scratched his head, the man was gone, the profit sure

is lost, "Too big a discount,” muttered John, “don't b'lieve we'vo

got the cost.” John feeling somewhat down in mouth, more soda water

drew, And from the glycyrrhiza drawer he took another chew. To brace his nerves, and stiffen up against the coming muss, Took spiritus vini rect. cum oleum juniperus. Now Jones came in, with mind intent on what he was to

make, John saw him come and felt that now 'twas time for him to


"The man,” said he, “ found fault with the price and wished

some discount made, So I took off four thirty-five, was that too much ?” he said. "Too much! why John, but let me see-the jalap cost a cent, And half a cent for calomel, and something more for rent-The box and label-well, not much, I guess I'm a leetle

aheadFive cents will cover all the cost, so we've made ten," he said.


[ocr errors]

Mellow the moonlight to shine is beginning;
Close by the window young Eileen is spinning;
Bent o'er the fire, her blind grandmother, sitting,
Is crooning, and moaning, and drowsily knitting, -
“ Eileen, achora, I hear some one tapping."
“ 'Tis the ivy, dear mother, against the glass flapping."

Eileen, I surely hear somebody sighing.”
" 'Tis the sound, mother dear, of the summer wind dying."
Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,
Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot's stirring;
Sprightly, and lightly, and airily ringing,
Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.
“What's that noise that I hear at the window, I wonder ?"
“ 'Tis the little birds chirping the holly-bush under.”
“What makes you be shoving and moving your stool on,
And singing all wrong that old song of 'The Coolun ’?”
There's a form at the casement,-the form of her true-love,-
And he whispers, with face bent, “ I'm waiting for you, love;
Get up on the stool, through the lattice step lightly,
We'll rove in the grove while the moon's shining brightly."
Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,
Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot's stirring:
Sprightly, and lightly, and airily ringing,
Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.
The maid shakes her head, on her lip lays her fingers,
Steals up from her seat,---longs to go, and yet lingers ;
A frightened glance turns to her drowsy grandmother,
Puts one foot on the stool, spins the wheel with the other.

* In rendering this porm, a fine effeet may be produced by imitating the whir Ing of the spinning-wheel.

Lazily, easily, swings now the wheel round;
Slowly and lowly is heard now the reel's sound;
Noiseless and light to the lattice above her
The maid steps,-then leaps to the arms of her lover.
Slower—and slower~and slower the wheel swings;
Lower—and lower-and lower the reel rings;
Ere the reel and the wheel stop their ringing and moving-
Through the grove the young lovers by moonlight are roving:


He came too late! the toast had dried

Before the fire too long;
The cakes were scorched upon the side,

And everything was wrong!
She scorned to wait all night for one

Who lingered on his way,
And so she took her tea alone,

And cleared the things away!
He came too late! at once he felt

The supper hour was o'er;
Indifference in her calm smile dwelt,

She closed the pantry-door:
The table-cloth had passed away, —

No dishes could he see:
She met him, and her words were gay,

She never spoke of tea!
He came too late! the subtle chords

Of patience were unbound;
Not by offense of spoken words,

But by the slights that wound.
She knew he would say nothing now

That could the past repay;
She bade him go and milk the cow,

And coldly turned away!
He came too late! the fragrant steam

Of tea had long since flown;
The flies had fallen in the cream,

The bread was cold as stone.
And when, with word and smile, he tried

His hungry state to prove,
Bhe nerved her heart with woman's pride,

And never deigned to move!

« AnteriorContinua »