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1. THERE are some insects who live but a single day. In the morning they are born; at noon they are in full life; at evening they die. The life of man is similar to that of these insects. It is true, he lives for a number of years, but the period is so short, that every moment is of some value. Our existence may be compared to a journey; as every step of the traveller brings him nearer to the end of his journey, so every tick of the clock makes the limited number of seconds allotted to us, still less.
2. Our life may be divided, like the day of the insect, into three parts; youth, or morning; noon, or middle age; and evening, or old age. In youth, we get our education, and lay up those stores of knowledge, which are to guide us in the journey before us. As this journey is of importance, we should be busy as the bee, that "improves each shining hour."
3. I do not mean, that we should never amuse ourselves; on the contrary, amusement is absolutely necessary to all, and particularly to the young. But what I mean is, that none of the time allotted to study, or business, or duty, should be allowed to pass in idleness. Every moment should be improved; for we have a journey before us, and, if we linger by the way, the time in which it is to be performed will pass, and, while we are yet unhoused, or unsheltered in the wilderness, the sun will set, and the shadows of night will fall upon us.
4. Middle age is a time of action, and it is important to lay up knowledge and wisdom in youth, that we may act well and wisely in these after days. Old age is the evening, or the winter, of life. It is dimmed by the shadows of coming night, or chilled by the frost of coming death. Yet it is not a period from which we should shrink, unless, indeed, we have wasted our time, and made no preparation against the season that is to follow.
THE AMERICAN AUTUMN.
LESSON XXVIII. The American Autumn.
1. THIS season is proverbially beautiful and interesting. Our springs are too humid and chilly; our summers too hot and dusty; and our winters too cold and tempestuous. But autumn, that soft twilight of the waning year, is ever delightfully temperate and agreeable. Nothing can be more rich and splendid, than the variegated mantles which our forests put on, after throwing off the light green drapery of
2. In this country, autumn comes not in "sober guise," or in "russet mantle clad," but, as expressed in the beautiful language of Miss Kemble, like a triumphant emperor, arrayed in " gorgeous robes of Tyrian dye."
3. This is the only proper season in which one truly enjoys, in all its maturity of luxurious loveliness, an excursion into the country;
"There, the loaded fruit-trees bending,
Autumn now throws her many-tinted robe over our landscape, unequalled by the richest drapery which nature's wardrobe can furnish in any part of the world.
4. We read of Italian skies and tropical evergreens, and often long to visit those regions where the birds have "no sorrow in their song, no winter in their year." But where can we find such an assemblage of beauties as is displayed, at this moment, in the groves and forests of our native land? Europe and Asia may be explored in vain. To them has prodigal nature given springs like Eden, summers of plenty, and winters of mildness. To the land of our nativity alone has she given autumns of unrivalled beauty, magnificence, and abundance. Most of our poets have sung the charms of this season, all varying from each other, and all beautiful, like the many-tinted hues of the foliage of the groves. 5. The pensive, sentimental, moralizing Bryant, says,
"The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year;" but his exquisite lines are so well known, that we must resist the temptation to quote them. The blithe, jocund,
bright-hearted Halleck sings in a strain of quite a different tone, in describing the country at this period. Who would not know these lines to be his;
"In the autumn time, Earth has no holier, nor no lovelier clime."
But we must not quote him either, for the same reason.
6. This objection, however, does not apply to the delicate morceau of poor Brainard, which has seldom been copied, and is in little repute, but which contains the true inspiration of poetry.
"What is there saddening in the autumn leaves?'
Have they that 'green and yellow melancholy,'
Or whispers through the evergreens, and asks,
LESSON XXIX. The Progress of Liberty.
1. Why muse
THE PROGRESS OF LIBERTY.
The same pure stars that we have loved to watch,
Of heaven were prisoned in its soundless depths
5. Weep not, that Time
And "FREEDOM! FREEDOM!" is the answering shout
7. The day-spring!-see,-'t is brightening in the heavens!
A type of Love and Mercy on the cloud,
LESSON XXX. The Broken-hearted.
1. Two years ago, I took up my residence for a few weeks in a country village in the eastern part of New England. Soon after my arrival, I became acquainted with a lovely girl, apparently about seventeen years of age. She had lost the idol of her pure heart's purest love, and the shadows of deep and holy memories were resting like the wing of death upon her brow.
2. I first met her in the presence of the mirthful. She was, indeed, a creature to be worshipped, her brow was garlanded by the young year's sweetest flowers, her yellow locks were hanging beautifully and low upon her bosom, and she moved through the crowd with such a floating, unearthly grace, that the bewildered gazer looked almost to see her fade away into the air, like the creation of some. pleasant dream. She seemed cheerful and even gay; yet I saw that her gayety was but the mockery of her feelings.
3. She smiled, but there was something in her smile, which told, that its mournful beauty was but the bright reflection of a tear, — and her eyelids at times closed heavily down, as if struggling to repress the tide of agony that was bursting up from her heart's secret urn. She looked as if she could have left the scene of festivity, and gone out beneath the quiet stars, and laid her forehead down upon the fresh green earth, and poured out her stricken soul, gush after gush, till it mingled with the eternal fountain of life and purity.
4. I have lately heard, that the beautiful girl, of whom I have spoken, is dead. The close of her life was calm as the falling of a quiet stream,-gentle as the sinking of the breeze, that lingers for a time round a bed of withered roses, and then dies as 't were from very sweetness.
5. It cannot be that earth is man's only abiding-place. It