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DEVOUTEST of my Sunday friends,
(Forgive me, Heaven, my wandering eyes!), A moment lost, the next half seen
His head above the scanty screen,
Through quavering hymns and panting psalms.
No priest that prays in gilded stole
O brother with the supple spine,
Without thine arm to lend the breeze,
How vain the finger on the keys!
Though all unmatched the player's skill,
Another's art may shape the tone,
The breath that fills it is thine own.
Six days the silent Memnon waits
He breathes, he sings, he shouts, he fills The quivering air with rapturous thrills; The roof resounds, the pillars shake, And all the slumbering echoes wake!
The preacher from the Bible-text
But thou, with decent mien and face,
Not all the preaching, O my friend,
This many-diapasoned maze
Through which the breath of being strays,
Whose music makes our earth divine,
The lever there! Take hold and blow;
Will play the tune as He shall please.
O. W. HOLMES.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Aisle: F. aisle or aile; fr. L. a'la, a wing. Decent: L. de'cens, becoming; fr. de'cet, it is seemly; h., in-decent. Diapason: Gr.; fr. dia, through, and pa'sōn, pl. of pas, all; in music the concord of the first and last notes, the octave. Easter: A. S. Eastre,
a goddess whose festival was held in April. . . Echo L. echo; fr. Gr. e'chō, a sound; in ancient mythology, a nymph who pined away into a sound for love of Narcissus. Figure: v. FICTITIOUS. . . . Genuflection, the act of bending the knee; fr. gen'u, the knee, and flec'to, flex'um, to bend. . . . Gild: A. S. gil'den, golden. . . . Hymn: L. hym'nos; Gr. hum'nos, a song in honor of the gods. . . . Memnon: Gr. Měmnōn; lit., the Steadfast, an ancient Egyptian statue supposed to have the property of emitting a harp-like sound at sunrise. . . . Monsoon: Arabic, maasaan, season; a periodical wind of the Indian and Arabian seas blowing regularly from the south-west, from April to October, and from the northeast during the other half of the year. Mortgage: F. mort, dead, and gage, a token or pledge; the grant of land or houses to a creditor in security for the repayment of his money, with the condition that in case of non-payment at a certain time the estate becomes dead—that is, passes wholly into the hands of the creditor; mortgaged, the state of being pledged: v. IMMORTALITY. . . . Psalm : Gr. psal'ma (Yaλμa); fr. psal'lo, to touch and put in motion, as the strings of a musical instrument; h., psalmody, psalter. ... Pulpit: L. pul'pitum, a stage or platform. . Quaver: Ger. quabbeln, to shake like a jelly. ... Salam: Arabic sa-läm', peace, safety; the Eastern form of salutation: Peace be with you! ... Stole: L. stol'a, a long upper garment; a long, narrow scarf, crossed on the breast, worn by priests. . . Strenuous: L. stre'nuus, brisk, active. . . . Supple, flexible: F. souple; fr. L. sub, under, plic'o, I fold: v. SUPPLICATE.... Wander: Ger. wandern, to go about without settled aim.
"The English language, which by no mere accident has produced and upborne the greatest and most predominant poet of modern times, may with all right be called a world-language, and, like the English people, appears destined hereafter to prevail with a sway more extensive even than its present, over all portions of the globe. For in wealth, good sense and closeness of structure no other of the languages at this day spoken deserves to be compared with it; not even our German, which must first rid itself of many defects before it can boldly enter into the lists as a competitor with the English."-Jacob Grimm.
1. WHEN some one in Sir Walter Scott's hearing made a remark as to the value of literary talents and accomplishments, as if they were above all things to be esteemed and honored, he observed, "God help us! what a poor world this would be if that were the true doctrine! I have read books enough and observed and conversed with many eminent and splendidly-cultured minds in my time, but I assure you I have heard higher sentiments from the lips of poor uneducated men and women, when exerting the spirit of severe yet gentle heroism under difficulties and afflictions, or speaking their simple thoughts as to circumstances in the lot of friends and neighbors, than I ever yet met with out of the Bible. We shall never learn to feel and respect our real calling and destiny unless we have taught ourselves to consider everything as moonshine compared with the education of the heart.”
2. In the affairs of life or of business it is not intellect that tells so much as character; not brains so much as heart; not genius so much as self-control, patience and discipline, regulated by judgment. The correspondences of wisdom and goodness are manifold, and that they will accompany each other is to be inferred, not only because men's wisdom makes them good, but because their goodness makes them wise. Though the reputation of men of genuine character may be of slow growth, their true qualities cannot be wholly concealed. They may be misrepresented by some and misunderstood by others, misfortune and adversity may overtake them, but with patience and endurance they will eventually inspire the respect and command the confidence they deserve.
3. Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance. It is character which builds an existence out of circumstances. Our strength is measured by our plastic power. From the same material one man builds palaces, another hovels; one warehouses, another villas. Bricks and mortar are mortar and bricks until the architect
can make them something else. Thus it is that in the same family in the same circumstances one man rears a stately edifice, while his brother, vacillating and incompetent, lives for ever amid ruins; the block of granite which was an obstacle on the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone on the pathway of the strong.
4. Energy of will-self-originating force is the soul of every great character. Where it is, there is life; where it is not, there is faintness, helplessness and despondency. The strong man and the waterfall channel their own path. The energetic leader, of noble spirit, not only wins a way for himself, but carries others with him. His every act has a personal significance, indicating vigor, independence and self-reliance, and unconsciously commands respect, admiration and homage. Such intrepidity characterized Washington, Pitt, Wellington and all great leaders of men. There is a contagiousness in every example of energetic conduct. The brave man is an inspiration to the weak, and compels them, as it were, to follow him.
5. When Washington consented to act as commander-inchief, it was felt as if the strength of the American forces had been more than doubled. Many years later, in 1798, when Washington, grown old, had withdrawn from public life and was living in retirement at Mount Vernon, and when it seemed probable that France would declare war against the United States, President Adams wrote to him, saying, "We must have your name, if you will permit us to use it; there will be more efficacy in it than in many an army." When the dissolution of the Union seemed imminent and Washington wished to retire into private life, Jefferson wrote to him urging his continuance in office, and adding, "The confidence of the whole Union centers in you." Such was the esteem in which the great commander was held, because he had made the building up of a noble character his prime care,
6. In some cases personal character acts by a kind of talismanic influence, as if certain men were the organs of a preternatural force. "If I but stamp on the ground in Italy," said