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happy, and making the commonest offices beautiful, by the energy and heart with which she does them, and seeing this, we admire and love her and them, and say, ‘Lo! a genuine creature of the fair earth, not dissipated, or too early ripened by books, philosophy, religion, society, or care!' insinuating a treachery and contempt for all we had so long loved and wrought in ourselves and others.
F we could have any security against
be holden to his words, and the hearer who is ready to sell all and join the crusade, could have any certificate that to-morrow his prophet shall not unsay his testimony ! But the truth sits veiled there on the bench, and never interposes an adamantine syllable; and the most sincere and revolutionary doctrine, put as if the ark of God were carried forward some furlongs, and planted there for the succour of the world, shall in a few weeks be coldly set aside by the same speaker, as morbid; “I thought I was right, but I was not '—and the same immeasurable credulity demanded for new audacities. If we were not of all opinions! if we did not in any moment shift the platform on which we stand, and look and speak from another! if there could be any regulation, any 'one-hour-rule,' that a man should never leave his point of view, without sound of trumpet! I am always insincere, as always knowing there are other moods.
Man Believes by Nature
E are natural believers. Truth, or the
connection between cause and effect, alone interests us. We are persuaded that a thread runs through all things: all worlds are strung on it, as beads: and men, and events, and life, come to us, only because of that thread: they pass and repass, only that we may know the direction and continuity of that line. A book or statement which goes to show that there is no line, but random and chaos, a calamity out of nothing, a prosperity and no
account of it, a hero born from a fool, a fool from a hero-dispirits us.
Seen or unseen, we believe the tie exists. Talent makes counterfeit ties; genius finds the real ones.
KEPTICISM is the attitude assumed
by the student in relation to the particulars which society adores, but which he sees to be reverent only in their tendency and spirit. The ground occupied by the skeptic is the vestibule of the temple.
Blindness to Defects
ATURE never spares the opium or
nepenthe; but wherever she mars her creature with some deformity or defect, lays her poppies plentifully on the bruise, and the sufferer goes joyfully through life, ignorant of the ruin, and incapable of seeing it, though all the world point their finger at it every day. The worthless and offensive members of society, whose existence is a social pest, invariably think themselves the most ill-used people alive, and never get over their astonishment at the ingratitude and selfishness of their contemporaries.
No One is Sane
UT the craft with which the world is
made, runs also into the mind and character of men. No man is quite sane; each has a vein of folly in his composition,
slight determination of blood to the head, to make sure of holding him hard to some one point which nature had taken to heart. Great causes are never tried on their merits; but the cause is reduced to particulars to suit the size of the partisans, and the contention is ever hottest on minor matters. Not less remarkable is the overfaith of each man in the importance of what he has to
do or say.
HE poet, the prophet, has a higher
any hearer, and therefore it gets spoken. The
Poet and the Prophet man
strong, self-complacent Luther declares with
expo not L
self. com of char
young and ardent person writes a
diary, in which, when the hours of prayer