« ZurückWeiter »
I might ask you, in pas ing the Insane Hospital, just to look through the grated window, at the maniac in his straight-jacket-gnashing his teeth, cursing his keepers, withering your very soul by the flashes of his eye, disquieting the night with incoherent cries of distress, or more appalling fits of laughter. Here you would see what it is for the immortal mind to be laid in ruins, by the worse than volcanic belchings of the distillery; and what happens every day from these Tartarean eruptions.
Adam's Account of himself to the Angel.-MILTON.
1 FOR man to tell how human life began
Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?
3 But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here? Not of myself; by some great Maker then, In goodness and in power pre-eminent; 4 Tell me how may I know him, how adore, From whom I have that thus I move and live, And feel that I am happier than I know." While thus I called, and strayed I knew not whither, From where I first drew air, and first beheld This happy light; when answer none returned, On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers, Pensive I sat me down: there gentle sleep First found me, and with soft oppression seized My droused sense, untroubled, though I thought 5 I then was passing to my former state Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my head a dream, Whose inward apparition gently moved, My fancy to believe I yet had being, And lived. One came, methought, of shape divine And said, "Thy mansion wants thee, Adam, rise, First man, of men innumerable ordained First Father, called by thee I come thy guide To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepared." 6 So saying, by the hand he took me, raised, And over fields and waters, as in air Smooth sliding without step, last led me up A woody mountain; whose high top was plain, A circuit wide, enclosed, with goodliest trees Planted, with walks, and bowers, that what I saw Of earth before scarce pleasant seemed. Each tree Loaden with fairest fruit, that hung to the eye Tempting, stirred in me sudden appetite
To pluck and eat: whereat I waked, and found 7 Before mine eyes all real, as the dream
Had lively shadowed. Here had new begun
Submiss he reared me, and "Whom thou sought'st
Said mildly, "Author of all this thou seest
Above, or round about thee, or beneath.
Uses of Water.—ANONYMOUS.
How common, and yet how beautiful and how pure, is a drop of water! See it, as it issues from the rock to supply the spring and the stream below. See how its meanderings through the plains, and its torrents over the cliffs, add to the richness and the beauty of the landscape. Look into a factory standing by a waterfall, in which every drop is faithful to perform its part, and hear the groaning and rustling of the wheels, the clattering of shuttles, and the buzz of spindles, which, under the direction of their fair attendants, are supplying myriads of fair purchasers with fabrics 2 from the cotton-plant, the sheep, and the silk worm.
Is any one so stupid as not to admire the splendor of the rainbow, or so ignorant as not to know that it is produced by drops of water, as they break away from the clouds which had confined them, and are making a quick visit to our earth to renew its verdure and increase its animation? How useful is the gentle dew, in its nightly visits, to allay the scorching heat of a summer's sun! And the autumn's frost, how beautifully it bedecks the trees, the shrubs and the grass; though it strips them of their summer's verdure, 3 and warns them that they must soon receive the buffetings of the winter's tempest! This is but water, which has given up its transparency for its beautiful whiteness and its elegant crystals. The snow, too-what is that but these same pure drops thrown into crystals by winter's icy hand? and does not the first summer's sun return them to the same limpid drops ?
'The majestic river, and the boundless ocean, what are they? Are they not made of drops of water? How the river steadily pursues its course from the mountain's top, 4 down the declivity, over the cliff, and through the plain, taking with it every thing in its course! How many mighty ships does the ocean float upon its bosom! How
many fishes sport in its waters! How does it form a lodging-place for the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Danube, the Rhine, the Ganges, the Lena, and the Hoang Ho!
How piercing are these pure, limpid drops! How do they find their way into the depths of the earth, and even the solid rock! How many thousand streams, hidden from our view by mountain masses, are steadily pursuing their 5 courses, deep from the surface which forms our standingplace for a few short days! In the air, too, how it diffuses itself! Where can a particle of air be found, which does not contain an atom of water?
How much would a famishing man give for a few of these pure, limpid drops of water! And where do we use it in our daily sustenance? or rather, where do we not use it? Which portion of the food that we have taken during our lives did not contain it? What part of our body, which limb, which organ, is not moistened with this same faithful ser6 vant? How is our blood, that free liquid, to circulate through our veins without it?
How gladly does the faithful horse, or the patient ox, in his toilsome journey, arrive at the water's brink! And the faithful dog, patiently following his master's track-how eagerly does he lap the water from the clear fountain he meets in his way!
The feathered tribe, also-how far and how quick their flight, that they may exchange the northern ice for the same common comfort rendered liquid and limpid by a 7 southern sun!
Whose heart ought not to overflow with gratitude to the abundant Giver of this pure liquid, which his own hand has deposited in the deep, and diffused through the floating air and the solid earth? Is it the farmer, whose fields, by the gentle dew and the abundant rain, bring forth fatness? Is it the mechanic, whose saw, lathe, spindle and shuttle, are moved by this faithful servant? Is it the merchant, on his return from the noise and the perplexities of business, to the table of his family, richly supplied with the varieties 8 and the luxuries of the four quarters of the globe, produced by the abundant rain, and transported across the mighty but yielding ocean? Is it the physician, on his administering to his patient some gentle beverage, or a more active healer of the disease which threatens ? Is it the clergyman, whose
profession it is to make others feel-and that by feeling himself that the slightest favor and the richest blessing are from the same source, and from the same abundant and constant Giver? Who, that still has a glass of water and a crumb of bread, is not ungrateful to complain?
Extract from a Discourse by the celebrated French Orutor Massillon.
THERE is not, perhaps, a person present who cannot say of himself, "I live as the multitude-those of my own rank, my own age and condition in life; and am I lost if I die thus ?" What more proper to alarm a soul which has any concern for its own salvation? Nevertheless, it is the multitude that tremble not, and feel no alarm. It is only a small number of just persons, who work out alone their salvation with fear and trembling: all the rest are calm and unconcerned. Convinced that the impenitent multitude must die in their sins, each individual flatters himself, that 2 after having lived with the multitude, he shall be distinguished from them at death; puts himself in the case of a preposterous exception, and dreams that for him all will be safe.
It is for this reason, my brethren, that I address myself I speak not of the rest to who are here assembled. you of mankind, but direct my view to you alone, as if you were the only beings on earth. Behold the thought which occupies and appals my spirit. I fancy that your final hour has come, and the end of the world-that the heavens 3 are about to open above your heads-Jesus Christ to appear in glory in this temple—and that you are here assembled but to await, as trembling criminals, his sentence of pardon or eternal death: for it is in vain to flatter yourselves,—such as you are to-day, such you will die. Those desires of change which now amuse, will continue to amuse you to the bed of death: it is the experience of all ages. All of change that you will then find, will be an account somewhat larger, perhaps, than you would have to render to-day. By what you would be, were you to be judged this