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Though the mind, absorbed in pleasure,
Yet doth faithful memory treasure
Words of kindness we have spoken,
Heal, perhaps, some spirit broken,
Thus our very thoughts are living,
Joy and consolation giving -
Not an act but is recorded,
Every virtue is rewarded,
Let no being, then, be rated
Every soul that is created
NEw York, July, 1846.
You speak of the beautiful and romantic scenery of our happy country ! If there is anything that can raise the soul to the pinnacle of enjoyment, it is to dwels with Nature in her secret and undisturbed abodes; to stand on the verge of the mighty preeipice, and watch the impetuous torrent dash headlong down the rocky steep ; to contemplate that for thousands of years the same grand song has ascended, unchecked by cold or heat, or by the great events that have agitated the human race from centre to circumference; to stand on some bare mountain-top, and gaze over the boundless prospect of wood and field, of fertility and barrenness, of brawling brooks and silent rivers, of peaceful lakes and restless oceans—till the undying mind, drinking in the sublime glories of creation, leans as it were over the very threshold of eternity, and sees in dim perspective the vast field of existence beyond the grave From such communion with Nature, the soul returns to the painful realities of life with hopeful courage, filled with holy delight and universal good-will; and waiting, not with fear and trembling, but with a truly Christian patience, its joyful deliverance from its prison-house of
WHEN some strong desire assails the heart, the senses are apt to put a favorable construction if possible upon every word or look that can be supposed to relate to the subject. A glance of the eye, though meant to pass for naught, has often awaked emotions of the strongest and happiest kind; a word, spoken in jest or inadvertence, can change the whole tone of feeling—transport the soul from despair to rapture, and scatter sunbeams and roses upon a previously sterile soil. Too much care, then, can not be taken, in all concerns of importance, to guard against hasty conclusions, wrong understanding, and careless use of language. In every affair concerning the happiness of the soul, calm deliberation, passionless thought, and close adherence to the directions of conscience, will point out the true path. How many a soul has been blasted by its own folly! What floods of tears have fallen for one misguided step ! What withering self-reproach has hung upon a thousand hearts for careless and unadvised resolves! How many a lue of wretchedness has ensued from youthful indiscretion How many an untimely grave has closed over the broken-hearted, self-sacrificed victims of misplaced affection 1
Twenty-three years have rolled off the log-line of Time since this poor specimen of humanity was placed upon the earth to pass a brief existence of sunshine and showers, of hopes and fears, of joys and sorrows, and then drop to the dust whence it sprang, and be forgot. Forgot 1–In that brief word there is a greater pang for the ambitious soul than the accumulated woes of threescore years and ten could throw upon its tottering tabernacle. Who, that has the least spark of the fires of immortality, can endure the chilling thought of quitting this planet without leaving some perpetual memorial of his existence 7 And yet, small is the ground for hope, when we summon hoary ages from their tomb, and know how few of all earth's earlier denizens have stamped their names upon the scroll of fame. No matter: “We do but row—we're steered by Fate.” From the low and obscure hovel, through the chilling blight of bigotry and intolerance, young Genius has arisen, and soared triumphant through the blue, empyrean—“rich dewdrops shaking from his plumes of light.” And will he yet arise ? or has a more equal diffusion of the lights of science and religion elevated all a little, and depressed a few immensely 7 We have no Homer or Shakspere now—no Socrates or Newton—and, thank Heaven no Alexander or Bonaparte. The age of the demigods has passed away; miracles have ceased ; and all mankind have settled down in the dreamy twilight of existence, calm as a stagnant pool at summer noon—a calmness to be disturbed only by that future Champion whose entrée will be like the light-outspeeding comet—whose gauntlet will be thrown, not to one poor sceptred worm, but to the whole human race—whose career will be vivid as the red bolt of Jove, resistless as the scythe of Time, boundless as the extent of space, triumphant as his combat with Death, and his reign as endurable as the throne of his Father . . . . . . Such appears to be the probable destiny of the earth; for, when all are wise, who shall excel? Though vast fields are yet unillumed by science and unblessed by religion, a short time will enlighten all. As the waves of the sea beat upon a sandy cliff until all is submerged, so the light of knowledge combats and subdues the darkness of ignorance; the ultimate result of which must be, equal intelligence, equal rights, equal laws, equal capacities, and equal fame—or. no fame at all.