The Golden Censer - The duties of to-day, the hopes of the future
by John McGovern
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is born in France. At thirty he is famous. Then for fifty years he wields an influence through the literatures of all nations second only to Shakspeare's. We see the sailor-boy Garibaldi, the commander-in-chief and savior of Uruguay in South America, the idol and king-maker of Italy, and the stern patriot without rank or gew-gaw on


a joining of the characters of such men as Socrates and Washington. We see Disraeli, a poor boy and we see Disraeli more powerful than any other man on earth. We look at Gladstone as a boy starting in life, determined to be a scholar. We hear his glorious voice, we read his books, we study the laws he has framed, we watch the empire he governs, and we feel he succeeded in his boyish ambition. Everywhere—in the lives of Agassiz, Humboldt, Proctor, Seward, Farragut, Nelson, Abercrombie, Joseph E. Johnston, Longstreet, Stanton, Aspinwall, Lorillard, Ayer, Helmbold, Scott, Garrett, Ralston, Garner, Watson, Howe, Singer, Steinway, McCormick, Morse, Edison, Bell, Gray, Applegarth, Hoe, Thomas, Wagner, Verdi, Jurgensen, Picard, Stephenson, Fulton, Rumsey, Fitch, Lamb, Fairbanks, Corliss, Dahlgren, Parrot, Armstrong, Gatling, Pullman, Alden, Crompton, Faber, Remington, Sharp, Colt, Daguerre, Bessemer, Goodyear, Yale, Keene, Gould, Villard,—and


which my limits exclude me from mentioning, there is the example of the hard worker, the promise of results that will follow a well-directed effort. "In order to do great things, it is necessary to live as if one was never to die"—that is, pay attention only to the object aimed at. I remember a man of success who meant to break up housekeeping and go to Europe on a matter of business. This was the first of January. The fact that the weather suddenly turned cold to the extent of thirty degrees below zero did not seem to attract his attention. He was absent-minded on that question! When it came to going out to hire an expressman to haul his effects to a storehouse he found no one would venture out with his horse until the thermometer should rise, and his astonishment knew no bounds! He had been


that his distress was very noticeable when he was compelled to wait in idleness for three days. Never allow obstacles to stop you. When the waters meet an obstacle they run around it. So do the ants. Read the lives of successful men. Watch successful men. "We are less convinced by what we hear than what we see," said Herodotus thousands of years ago. Said Seneca, nineteen hundred years ago: "Men trust rather to their eyes than to their ears; the effect of precepts, is, therefore, slow and tedious, while that of example is summary and effectual." Says Franklin: "None teaches better than the ant, and she says nothing." "Not the cry" say the Chinese, "but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow."


says Horace Mann. "The people look at their pastor six days in the week," says Cecil, "to see what he means on the seventh." Says Dr. Johnson: "Those who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one common pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier grounds," and the examples of a majority of the successful men will show this to be true. It seems to me, in conclusion, that


upon which gamblers often stake their money. If they lose one, they stake two; if they lose, they stake four; if they lose, they stake eight; if they still lose, they stake sixteen; now if they win, they have, of course, won one more than they have lost altogether. The banker guards against this system by limiting their progression to a certain figure and thus breaking it down. But in the game of life we have no limit put upon our enterprises. We may redouble our efforts after every failure, and we find, upon the first success, that we have, in one stroke of prosperity, more than made ourselves whole for failures which may have extended behind us indefinitely. You cannot fail in life if you will stake an effort on each succeeding attempt twice as great as the effort which lost you your last desire.


A combination and a form, indeed, Where every god did seem to set his seal To give the world assurance of a man.

His life was gentle, and the elements So mixed in him, that nature might stand up And say to all the world "This was a man!"—Shakspeare.

"What a piece of worke is a man? How Noble in Reason? how infinite in faculty? in forme and mouing how expresse and admirable? in Action how like an Angel? in apprehension how like a God? the beauty of the world, the Paragon of Animals?" This is the exalted panegyric of the greatest mind so far vouchsafed to our race—this, then, was Shakspeare's ideal of a true man. Says Emerson: "O rich and various man! thou palace of sight and sound, carrying in thy senses the morning and the night, and the unfathomable galaxy; in thy brain the geometry of the city of God; in thy heart the power of love and the realms of right and wrong." "Man was sent into the world to be a growing and exhaustless force," says Chapin; "the world was spread out around him to be seized and conquered. Realms of infinite truth burst open above him, inviting him to to tread those shining coasts along which Newton dropped his plummet, and Herschel sailed,


"Man," says Carlyle, "has reflected his two-fold nature in history. 'He is of earth,' but his thoughts are with the stars. Mean and petty his wants and his desires; yet they serve a soul exalted with grand, glorious aims, with immortal longings, with thoughts which sweep the heavens and 'wander through eternity.' A pigmy standing on the outward crust of this small planet, his far-reaching spirit stretches outward to the infinite, and there finds rest." Then turning to the combined effects of individual lives, the same great writer says: "History is a reflex of this double life. Every epoch has two aspects—one calm, broad and solemn—looking towards eternity; the other agitated, petty, vehement, and confused looking towards time." "Man," says Sir William Hamilton, one of the greatest of true philosophers, "is not an organism: he is an intelligence, served by organs." Says Whately: "The heavens do indeed 'declare the glory of God,' and the human body is 'fearfully and wonderfully made;' but man, considered, not merely as an organized being, but as a rational agent, and as a member of society, is perhaps the most wonderfully contrived, and to us the most interesting, specimen of divine wisdom that we have any knowledge of."


So much in compliment of mankind. Now this same marvelous creature, man, has a critical spirit. He is endued with a quality of progression. The motive power in this progression is dissatisfaction. Let us listen to the sages when they drop eulogy and become out of conceit with themselves.


says Horace Mann. "Some think he is only a machine, and that the only difference between a man and a mill is, that one is carried by blood and the other by water." Says Pascal: "What a chimera is man! what a singular phenomenon! what a chaos! what a scene of contrariety! A judge of all things yet a feeble worm; the shrine of truth, yet a mass of doubt and uncertainty; at once the glory and the scorn of the universe. If he boasts, I lower him; if he lowers himself I raise him; either way I contradict him, till he learns he is a monstrous, incomprehensible mystery." "Make yourself an honest man," says Carlyle sarcastically, "and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world." This remark sprang, probably, from a reading of


of a rogue with a man of honor: "Other things being equal, an honest man has this advantage over a knave, that he understands more of human nature: for he knows that one honest man exists, and concludes that there must be more; and he also knows, if he is not a mere simpleton, that there are some who are knavish. But the knave can seldom be brought to believe in the existence of an honest man. The honest man may be deceived in particular persons, but the knave is sure to be deceived whenever he comes across an honest man who is not a mere fool." "Man is


a fawning dog, a roaring lion, a thieving fox, a robbing wolf, a dissembling crocodile, a treacherous decoy, and a rapacious vulture." This was the poet Cowley's opinion. "Of all the animals" scolds Boileau, "which fly in the air, walk on the ground, or swim in the sea, from Paris to Peru, from Japan to Rome, the most foolish animal, in my opinion, is man." People must be very bad, indeed, who get opinions as low as the two last quoted. That rapacious vulture George Peabody! that dissembling crocodile William Cowper! that robbing wolf Girard! that thieving fox Charles Sumner! that fawning dog Napoleon Bonaparte! and those most foolish animals Louis Agassiz and Isaac Newton! It does not well become the weakest links in a chain to boast that they gauge that chain's strength, for the chain can be greatly strengthened, upon this easy discovery of those weak links, by simply dropping them out of connection.

And now comes the query: "What is man?" He has always been more or less at a loss for some striking and succinct statement of his peculiar characteristics—of the mark that separates him from other animals. Diogenes Laertius says that Plato having defined man to be a two-legged animal without feathers, he (Diogenes) plucked a cock, and, bringing him into the school, said "Here is Plato's man." From this joke there was added to the definition "With broad flat nails." Even this definition is just as faulty, as it does not exclude many species of the monkey. Again it was thought that man was the only being who laughs. Says Addison, poetically: "Man is the merriest species of the creation; all above and below him are serious." But scientists refuse to accept this distinction as accurate. "Man is an animal


says Burke. "So does the buzzard" (in the sun) say the learned men. "Man uses tools," says another. "So does the beaver—the ourang-outang hurls stones, and fights with clubs," say the scientists. Finally, says Adam Smith, in his "Wealth of Nations:" "Man is an animal that makes bargains; no other animal does this—one dog does not change a bone with another." We must be satisfied with this, I suppose, but it is a very faulty declaration, for I have seen one dog change a bone with another, in which instance a big dog traded with a little dog, and impressed the little dog with the desirability, under the circumstances, of the smaller of two bones! And I am not sure but that


are of that stripe, wherein the superior of two bone or money getters acquaints the inferior with the good points of a bad bargain. Buffon, at the beginning of his Natural History, is unable, even, to give any line of demarcation between vegetable and animal substances, and perplexes the mind with an infinitude of faulty attempts, in turn showing the weak spot in each. "For man is a plant,"


"not fixed in the earth nor immovable, but heavenly, whose head, rising, as it were, from a root upwards, is turned towards heaven." "A man ought to carry himself in the world," says Henry Ward Beecher, continuing and building on Plutarch's thought, "as an orange-tree would, if it could walk up and down in the garden,—swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up to the air."

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.

This is the declaration of the great poet Pope, and a glance across the world's literature will show that the mandate was unneeded. For ages before the birth of the celebrated "wasp of Twickenham," mankind had been at study on the subject. "The burden of history" says George Finlayson, "is what man has been; of law, what he does; of physiology, what he is; of ethics, what he ought to be; of revelation, what he shall be." "Man is the product of his own history," says Theodore Parker. "The discoverer finds nothing so grand or tall as himself, nothing so valuable to him. The greatest star is that at the end of the telescope—


nor looked at." "Man is greater than a world, than systems of worlds; there is more mystery in the union of soul with the physical than in the creation of the universe." This sentence is by Henry Giles. To the first portion of it I give unqualified belief. I believe, too, with John Ruskin, that "the basest thought possible concerning man is that he has no spiritual nature; and the foolishest misunderstanding of him possible is, that he has, or should have, no animal nature. For his nature is nobly animal, nobly spiritual—coherently and irrevocably so; neither part of it may, but at its peril, expel, despise, or defy the other." "Man is the metre of all things," says Aristotle,


is the instrument of instruments, and the mind is the form of forms." The remark of the great Athenian regarding the hand, while no truer than that one touching the mind, is yet easier of demonstration to the unphilosophical reader. For instance, the printers of the finest engravings to this day use the palm of the hand to apply the ink; the type-setting machine is so far a failure for the want of the human fingers; the most perfect performance of music on a machine yet lacks that sympathy and exception to mathematical rule which the human fingers, highly trained, impart to the keyboard, and the violin, that thing most nearly in communication with the soul of man,—pays no allegiance whatever save to the human hand well practiced in its mastery; the hand skilled in love soothes the aching brow; the whole framework of this instrument, the hand, filled with gold coins, almost without volition spurns the spurious piece; the false bank-note is lifted with suspicion; across the signature the deft fingers run to aid the eye; over the letters the mind of the sightless pushes its loyal touch, and the signal comes faithfully back to the dungeoned intelligence!


are the greatest of those of any living beings. It follows, it seems to me, that our responsibilities should be greater, both in justice and in reason. Every opportunity is equivalent to a duty. We owe—with all these miracles of the living world centered and perfected in our bodies,—a duty equally grand and difficult. Let us ennoble ourselves. John Fletcher wrote a beautiful metaphor in very clumsy verse when he said:

Man is his own star, and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man Commands all light, all influence, all fate,

Nothing to him falls early, or too late. Our acts our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.


The Lord has well loved man: "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings, so the Lord alone did lead him." "The Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be a captain over his people." "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, [then] what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him


and hast crowned him with glory and honor!" "I have set the Lord before me. Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." "Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." "I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." "For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told." "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." "He giveth his beloved sleep." "A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps." "One event happeneth to them all." "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall turn unto God who gave it."

We perceive, upon a glance at this broad subject, that a book would be better fitted to its treatment than a chapter, and yet a chapter alone will aid in attuning the mind to the nobility of our destiny. A single thought entering the mind at the right time will turn the current of a life. Let us elevate and strengthen our present into the nobler foundation of a happier future on earth and a blissful eternity in heaven. We are endowed with shame. Let it keep us from meriting the stinging epigram: "God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man."


She was a phantom of delight When first she gleamed upon my sight.

And now I see, with eye serene, The very pulse of the machine; A being breathing thoughtful breath, A traveler betwixt life and death; The reason firm, the temperate will, Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill; A perfect woman, nobly planned, To warm, to comfort, and command And yet a spirit still, and bright, With something of an angel light.—Wordsworth.

"Man is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man," says the great Book. This is so true that most of the charities and mercies for which mankind gets credit in his own moral intelligence are inspired by the charitable and merciful attributes so characteristic of true womanhood. Campbell, in the "Pleasures of Hope," speaks thus of the Garden of Paradise:

The world was sad—the garden was a wild, And man, the hermit, sighed, till woman smiled.

And lovely woman has smiled forever. Into the lot of life she has put all that has endeared it or made it tolerable; into the hope of the hereafter she has ever breathed the breath of life and kept it a living force. Besides the charms she has for man as a thing of superexcellent beauty, woman has ever held him in the second greatest debt he owes. She teaches him, not less, a greater debt (to God), and brings him before that Chief Creditor with little thought of her own dues. Upon


it is not strange that he has spent his days in framing speeches to reward the admirable devotion of woman, and it is pleasant to believe the object of those encomiums has received them as the most desirable form of remuneration. She has listened to his praise with beating heart, and blossomed into greater loveliness. She has had no greed of money, save as it would array her in beauteous raiment, that she might better guard the love she has won; she has had little ambition, save as she might be of service to her mate, whose unquiet soul has never ceased its


the storm of life. But she has had great powers of love, great powers of sacrifice, great depths of forgiveness, great fountains of tears—those still waters where bathes the human soul and rises clean before God's sight. "Women are the poetry of the world, in the same sense that the stars are the poetry of heaven," says Hargrave; "clear, light-giving, harmonious, they are the terrestrial planets that rule the destinies of mankind." "Man," says Washington Irving, "is the creature of interest and ambition. His nature leads him forth into the struggle and bustle of the world. Love is but the embellishment of his early life, or a song piped in the intervals of his acts. But a woman's whole life is


the heart is her world; it is there her ambition strives for empire; it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure, she embarks her whole soul in the traffic of affection; and, if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless, for it is a bankruptcy of the heart." "O, if the loving, closed heart of a good woman," cries Jean Paul Richter, "Should open before man, how much controlled tenderness, how many veiled sacrifices and dumb virtues, would he see reposing therein!" "Honor to women!" sings his brother-countryman,


"they twine and weave the roses of heaven into the life of men; it is they that unite us in the fascinating bonds of love; and, concealed in the modest veil of the graces, they cherish carefully the external fire of delicate feeling with holy hands." "Win her and wear her, if you can," says Shelley; "she is the most delightful of God's creatures—Heaven's best gift—man's joy and pride in prosperity—man's support and comforter in affliction." "Her passions are made of the finest parts of pure love," says Shakspeare. "Her commands are caresses, her menaces are tears," says Rousseau. "She was


says Barrett. "Her errors spring almost always from her faith in the good or her confidence in the true" declares Balzac. "She has more strength in her looks than we have in our laws, and more power by her tears than we have by our arguments," says the Duke of Halifax, a great statesman. "All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of woman," says Voltaire, skeptic in all else. "Women in their nature are much more gay and joyous than men," writes Addison, "whether it be that their blood is more refined, their fibers more delicate, and their animal spirits more light and volatile; or whether, as some have imagined, there may not be a kind of


I shall not pretend to determine." "It is not strange to me" says Boyle, a good, sensible man, "that persons of the fairer sex should like, in all things about them, that handsomeness for which they find themselves most liked." Man reviles woman for her vanity. At the same time it is the particular delight of the man who will himself wear no decoration to load upon his willing wife the trinkets of his fancy as far as his purse will pay for them. Without woman's almost savage love of display, man would be robbed of nearly all the pleasure which


now give him. He loves woman, just as she is. Just as she is she is much above the level of the thing he would love had he not her to claim his rapt attention. Man smiles at woman's weaknesses, but if he thought of his great meanness of soul when his mercy and fidelity are in the scale against her own, he would look grave and troubled. She dresses with expense and variety, because it is the first ordinance of her master. Her very love of dress is the sign and seal of her intelligence. If it be folly, arraign man at the dock! Says


"We see women universally jealous of the reputation of their beauty, and frequently look with contempt on the care with which they study their complexions, endeavor to preserve or supply the bloom of youth, regulate every ornament, twist their hair into curls, and shade their faces from the weather. We recommend the care of their nobler part, and tell them how little addition is made by all their arts to the graces of the mind. But when was it known that female goodness or knowledge was able to attract that officiousness, or inspire that ardor, which beauty produces wherever it appears? And with what hope can we endeavor to persuade the ladies that


is lost in vanity, when they have every moment some new conviction that their interest is more effectually promoted by a ribbon well disposed than by the brightest act of heroic virtue?" Listen to the praise of practical John Ledyard, whose word has the solid ring of fact about it: "I have observed among all nations [that he had seen, the statement not being applicable to a majority of the savages] that the women ornament themselves more than the men; that,


kind, obliging, humane, tender beings; that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest. They do not hesitate, like man, to perform a hospitable or generous action; not haughty, nor arrogant, nor supercilious, but full of courtesy and fond of society; industrious, economical, ingenuous; more liable, in general, to err than man; but, in general, also more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving


With men it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the plains of inhospitable Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the widespread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so: and, to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and so kind a manner, that, if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and, if hungry, ate the coarse morsel with a double relish." Woman may read


with a blush of gratification, for there breathes no flattery in it—only the serious observations of an old man bent on getting knowledge by personal experience. "A man may flatter himself as he pleases," says Sir Richard Steele, "but he will find that the women have more understanding in their own affairs than we have." Man suffers in his loves for woman. She often casts him on the rocks like an angry unfeeling sea, but when, at last she has smiled upon him, he becomes a broader, better man. Without the companionship of woman, man is truly half-made up. He loses his self-esteem, he lives without laws, without churches, without hospitals.


during the early period of their settlement by Americans, have furnished us with accurate views of society without women. And what has that society been? More a den of wild beasts than a congregation of the most reasoning of God's creatures! There we find men living in constant suspicion of their comrades, in constant danger of hazarding their lives for some sentimental canon of personal vanity that, if they were boys in civilized society, would be flogged out of their moral code.


is a continuous outcry of the goodness of woman. Wherever the red hand of war has risen to smite, there the white hand of woman has hastened to soothe. After the roar of the conflagration and amidst the ruins piled up by the earthquake ever has that sweet minister sought out the hungry and succored the suffering.


One does not feel that he can do any good by criticising woman. We love fruit that is perfect. We do not describe, and we would have little thanks for a description of, those specimens of cherries, strawberries, or grapes which fail to realize our anticipations of a delightful product of the orchard, the garden, or the vineyard. But I have perhaps, by showing the respect in which men of intellect and honor hold a good woman, given needed encouragement to patient hearts, and testified my own humble regard for womanhood.


His hair just grizzled, As in a green old age.—Dryden.

The word papa, I believe, goes back, just as it is, through all the languages, to the Sanscrit, and even beyond to the unknown Aryan, the stock of our civilized tongues. The Pope is papa, kind father, in Italian. How his name ever came to be twisted into the ugly sound we hear in English is a problem, for the difference on the feelings between the sounds of Pope, and papa, kind father, cannot well be exaggerated. The kind father of a good man occupies an enviable place in that man's thoughts. It is no passing admiration; that father is no hero of to-day no study of to-morrow, no dim recollection when the future shall have come—but an active exemplar, an honored memory, a potent spur and stay combined—a spur to urge to all a man should do; a stay to curb unwisdom's flying feet. That father has toiled in weariness that his son might follow an easier path of life. Perhaps you now tread that path. How carefully should your steps be taken; how earnestly you should climb to reach the round which meets your self-denying parent's gaze! With him there have come few paroxysms of delight in his labor. He has not been endowed with that mysterious joy your mother has felt in all your existence. He has delighted in you because he hoped you would bring honor to his house; he would rather you had not lived than to see you in a prisoner's cell—far rather. This could not be said of your mother. She would be contented that you had lived at all, that you had looked into her eyes and laughed. Your father has taken care of you, dutifully. Repay him in kindness. "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." This was graven by the Lord in the marble tablets on Sinai, and has been in turn graven on the countless millions of hearts that have beaten "their short funeral marches" since that awful hour.


has at one time or another rested on the sustaining power of the father. The patriarch, in ancient times, protected and sustained his dependents, and, in return, received their entire allegiance, wielding over them the power of life and death, and thus initiating the first form of human government. Next came the cities where the government was formed by all the fathers together in council, and our village and city legislators are, to this day, called "the city fathers," although the reverence in which so august a body was once held has departed with the silent flight of the dignity of our modern convocations. Some one has said of


that he is in the childhood of immortality. "One's age should be tranquil," says Dr. Arnold, "as one's childhood should be playful; hard work at either extremity of human existence, seems to me out of place; the morning and the evening should be alike cool and peaceful; at midday the sun may burn, and men may labor under it." See to it, if it be within your power, that your father has the rest due to the evening of his days. Let him sit in the cool. Let him listen to the voices of his night—the crickets that cry out his mortality and the nightingales that sing of Paradise!


seem to fancy," says Richter, "like the light of a soft moon silvering over the evening of life." "Old age," says Madame Swetchine, "is not one of the beauties of creation, but it is one of its harmonies. The law of contrasts is one of the laws of beauty. Shadows give light its worth; sternness enchances mildness; solemnity splendor."


"Old age was naturally more honored," says Joubert, "in times when people could not know much more than what they had seen." There are still many avenues of learning in which practical experience seems to be paramount in value. In business its great worth is never underestimated. You have heard of the partnership built on a contribution by one firm-member of the money, and by the other of the experience; and of the dissolution of that firm, leaving the one who put in the money with all the experience, and the one who put in the experience with all the money! The practices of law and medicine are famous for the need of age, which they harness anew with the labors and exertions ordinarily demanded of youth. "Tell me," says Shakerly Marmion, "what you find better or more honorable than age. Is not wisdom entailed upon it?


in an old friend, in old wine, in an old pedigree." "I venerate old age," says the great and good poet Longfellow; "and I love not the man who can look without emotion upon the sunset of life, when the dusk of evening begins to gather over the watery eye, and the shadows of twilight grow broader and deeper upon the understanding." "It is only necessary to grow old to become more indulgent," writes Goethe; "I see no fault committed that I have not committed myself." "An aged Christian," says Chapin, beautifully enlarging on Goldsmith's and Dr. Donne's ideas, "with the snow of time on his head, may remind us that those points of earth are whitest which are nearest heaven."


again says Richter, "life becomes more and more bright the longer we live, and the reason of everything appears more clear. What has puzzled us before seems less mysterious, and the crooked paths look straighter as we approach the end." "Time has laid his hand upon my heart gently," says Longfellow, "not smiting it; but


upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations." "I think that to have known one good old man," George William Curtis says, "one man who, through the chances and mischances of a long life, has carried his heart in his hand, like a palm branch, waving all discords into peace—helps our faith in God, in ourselves, and in each other more than many sermons." "He that would pass the declining years of his life with honor and comfort," says Addison, with fine opposition, "should, when young, consider that he may one day become old, and remember, when he is old, that he has once been young." On the principle that blessings brighten as they take their flight we come to love the sunshine and the birds and all God's glorious works just as we grow old.


says Lord Lytton, "we delight to see them roll on the grass over which we hobble. The grandsire turns wearily from his middle-aged, care-worn son, to listen with infant laugh to the prattle of an infant grandchild. It is the old who plant young trees; it is the old who are most saddened by the autumn, and feel most delight in the returning spring." "Winter," says Richter, "which strips the leaves from around us, makes us see the distant regions they formerly concealed; so does old age rob us of our enjoyments, only to enlarge the prospect of eternity before us." Seneca says that there is nothing more disgraceful than that an old man should have nothing to produce as a proof that he has lived long except his years. I love Longfellow's picture of


the mighty man. It has been set to one of the best musical accompaniments that I have ever heard. When the verses below are reached, the key is changed to one where the sadness intensifies, until the honest old heart hears the "mother's voice singing in Paradise:"

He goes on Sunday to the church; And sits among his boys; He hears the parson pray and preach, He hears his daughter's voice, Singing in the village choir, And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice, Singing in Paradise; He needs must think of her once more, How in the grave she lies; And with his hard, rough hand he wipes A tear out of his eyes.

I wish, instead of merely printing these simple words, I could breathe them out to you, as some great tenor or baritone like Sims Reeves or Santley sings them—there is such a world of human life and feeling hidden there, ready to spring forth with the touch of sympathetic sounds!


as a respectful demeanor toward a reverend man. Nothing lowers a man so much as flippant speech concerning his elders. The young man with the most dignity has the most deference for age. He takes sincere delight in bowing before ripe years and wisdom. Alas! how sad that ever age should come to one who is not fitted for its honors!

I have known a son to thwart every dream of his father. I have seen the parent, struggling with adversity, yet succeed in opening before the child a career of honor and comfort; and I have seen the son clutch those opportunities as a highwayman seizes upon the wayfarer, and throttle them in the dust and ashes of failure and disgrace. How sad the picture!


I have seen a parent toil for years, carrying to his cottage the wages which should support his son in seven long years of careful education. I have watched that son in his ceaseless studies and found he thought only of gladdening his father's heart. I have seen him graduate second in a class of one hundred and fifteen, and then after two years of additional study, first in a body of eighty young men, each of whom was a scholar. The best men of a great city have given that young man encouragement. Their homes and their wives and their daughters have smiled at his approach, and his course has been upward without a fall, and with few pauses for rest. Has he forgotten his poor father? No. He still lives in the cottage, and will make the small house with a great man in it more hospitable and more honorable than a wide door that swings open to a narrow soul. How pleasant the picture!


A mother is a mother still, The holiest thing alive.—Coleridge.

Not learned save in gracious household ways, Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants, No angel, but a dearer being, all dipt In angel instincts, breathing Paradise.

Who looked all native to her place, and yet On tiptoe seemed to touch upon a sphere Too gross to tread, and all male minds perforce Swayed to her from their orbits as they moved, And girdled her with music. Happy he With such a mother! faith in womankind Beats with his blood.—Tennyson.

So high and holy a title as mother cannot fall too reverently from man's lips. That he might live the mother has gone down into the valley of the shadow of death; that he might thrive she has fed him with willingness from her own weak body, and grown spectre-like as he grew strong and importunate; that he might go among his fellows on an equal footing, she has toiled with his small weak brain teaching him the beginning of his education and tilling "a rank unweeded garden;" that he might have everlasting life, she has instilled into his mind that saving fear of God, which, though he think himself an atheist, will claim the mastery when Death grins by his couch, and grant him a stay of the awful judgment till he may make his peace with a Creator whose mercy endureth forever. Everything a man is he can owe but to his mother; everything he may be in future life has possibly come from her fond intercession, her gentle admonitions. "Unhappy is the man for whom his own mother has not made all other mothers venerable," says Richter. "The future destiny of the child,"


"is always the work of the mother," and it is certain that he had ample reason in his own remarkable career for making this important admission. He inherited from his mother all those attributes which made him great, and owed his sudden downfall to none of her teachings. She was noted for her sagacity and prudence, but possibly it required more than human sagacity and prudence to balance the mighty impulses which moved Napoleon Bonaparte. "A father may turn his back on his child," says Washington Irving, "brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands; but a mother's love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world's condemnation, a mother still loves on, and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still


that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy." "There is in all this cold and hollow world," says Mrs. Hemans, "no fount of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within a mother's heart." "Even He that died for us upon the cross," says Longfellow, "in the last hour, in the unutterable agony of death, was mindful of his mother, as if to teach us that this holy love should be our last worldly thought—the last point of earth from which the soul should take its flight for heaven." Who ever saw


that did not look upon her as one of the happiest, therefore, necessarily, one of the best of God's creatures? O, in that peek-a-boo, that capturing of that last squealing "pig," the little toe, that paddy-cake opera, is there not the one great bliss of life, to be happy in making others happy? And how the laughter rings through the house! And then the toil and self-denial for the stocking and the tree


Is it any wonder that the child is so easily deceived, and credits all his joys to unseen ministers? It would not be hard to convince the philosopher himself of the dual earthly character of the mother, visibly a woman, invisibly but not the less really to her child, an ethereal spirit of mercy and goodness! What gnaws her cheek and cheats Death into the belief a flag of truce summons him to the final parley? Has not her babe, her hope, been fevered and in pain, and should she sleep lest it should leave her on this world behind, that then would need her not? "Canst bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades?" No more can her anxiety be


no more can her quick ear be deafened to the little wail that echoes pitiful within the chambers of her heart! When we remember the great passion of motherhood, the intensity of the drama, the prolongation into years of its deep interplots, we cannot marvel longer at the perennial, lasting character of the mother's love. Given, the marvel, there is no further marvel. Given life, the scientists say, there is no other problem on this narrow world. And thus the marvel and the mystery never grow less.


of all animals the most pitiable and weakly. Left to himself he would immediately perish. Extinguish the mother's love and he would at once perish. His growth is by far the slowest of that of all animals, therefore the wisdom of God in so lengthening the tenure of the mother's solicitude. The mighty man who wields the iron halberd which no two people can lift was still a helpless infant, unable to put his own chubby fist into his own mouth! The autocrat who sweeps whole communities into Siberia with a stroke of his pen was ill when his mother was alarmed, was in agony when she was indiscreet with her food! She cannot forget this. It is but yesterday she dried his flesh to keep it sound. It is but yesterday she let him bite his aching gum upon her finger, wishing the ache might go from him to her—hoping that if he gave her pain he would have less. One can well pardon the vanity that would lead a son to insist that his mother should accompany him to


that she might behold him enter upon the Chief Magistracy of fifty millions of freemen, gained by the first choice of a majority of those freemen, yea, by the unanimous first and second choice, for none so ready to fight for his right to rule as he who yesterday voted for an honored opponent—the very summit of true political ambition—the apex of the mother's boldest hope! "The mother's love is indeed the golden link that binds youth to old age," says Bovee; "and he is still but a child, however time may have furrowed his cheek, or silvered his brow, who can yet recall, with a softened heart, the fond devotion, or the gentle chidings, of


that God ever gives us!" I knew an aged woman, who interested me very greatly in tales of "her boy"—that good son who had so often proven his gratitude for her long love. One day, chancing to consider her great number of years, I inquired how old "her boy" was, and found that he had been a grandfather for twenty-three years, and had lately had the satisfaction of holding a great grandson in his arms. Still he was her curly haired-boy—she could remember him in no other condition of life with so much satisfaction.


says Lacretelle, "the son who never resisted the tears of his mother." "Love droops, youth fades, the leaves of friendship fall; a mother's secret hope outlives them all," sings Oliver Wendell Holmes. "At first," says Beecher, "babies feed on the mother's bosom, but always on her heart." "Stories first heard at a mother's knee," affirms Ruffini, "are never wholly forgotten—a little spring that never quite dries up in our journey through scorching years."


says the Spanish proverb, "is a pound of clergy." "The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom," says another writer. "Men are what their mothers made them," says Emerson, in study of Napoleon's idea; "you may as well ask a loom which weaves huckabuck why it does not make cashmere, as expect poetry from this engineer, or a chemical discovery from that jobber." "It is generally admitted," says Theodore Hook, "and frequently proved, that virtue and genius, and all the natural good qualities which men possess, are derived from their mothers." "It is well for us," says Bishop Hare, "that we are born babies in intellect. Could we understand half what mothers say and do to their infants, we should be filled with


which would render us insupportable through life. Happy the boy whose mother is tired of talking nonsense to him before he is old enough to know the sense of it." Perhaps the praises of our mothers tarry in our brains too long anyway. It may be a provision of nature that woman shall inspire her child with sufficient self-esteem to take him through the world with a first-class ticket, a cabin passage, that he may escape the poor accommodations of excessive humility, the steerage of the ship of life. It seems incredible that our mother was mistaken in thinking her boys the brightest, best, and most creditable in all the region roundabout! Let us by our lives, marvel rather at the correctness of her vision than the blindness of her love.


says Leigh Hunt, "is never, as it were, without an infant child. Her other children grow up to manhood and womanhood, and suffer all the changes of mortality; but this one alone is rendered an immortal child; for death has arrested it with his kindly harshness, and blessed it into an eternal image of youth and innocence." The mother teaches us the one grand lesson of


"Nothing is more noble," says Cicero, "nothing more venerable." One of the most beautiful tributes to an aged mother was written by Lamartine. "The loss of a mother," he says "is always severely felt. Even though her health may incapacitate her from taking an active part in the care of her family, still she is a sweet rallying-point, around which affection and obedience, and a thousand endeavors to please, concentrate; and dreary is the blank when such a point is withdrawn! It is like that lonely star before us; neither its heat nor light are anything to us in themselves; yet the shepherd would feel his heart sad if he missed it when he lifts his eye to the brow of the mountain over which it rises when the sun descends."


their mothers have upon them. Of such ungrateful wretches, though clothed in outward excellences, the pen can write nothing too harsh in justice. As old Dr. South says, "the greatest favors are to such a one but the motion of a ship upon the waves; they leave no trace, no sign behind them. All kindness descend as showers of rain or rivers of fresh water falling into the main sea; the sea swallows them all, but is not all changed or sweetened by them. If you look backward and trace him up to his original, you will find that he was born so; and if you look forward enough, it is a thousand to one that you will find that


The thread that nature spins is seldom broken off by anything but death. I do not by this limit the operation of God's grace, for that may do wonders." Be glad, if you are ungrateful, that a wise man has given you so good counsel to pray—and pray as you do when you think yourself in extreme peril!


you have many years of her great friendship before you. Try and pattern after her boundless affection. Let it melt into your heart and make it warmer. If "age has snowed white hairs" upon her head, treasure her the more fondly during the few swift years she will be left to you. Soon she will go to her reward, and you will be without the only friend of man whose love seems to be inalienable—whose esteem he cannot barter away, either in greed or in vice.


In almost every community there is "a mother in Israel," a mother of mothers, whose great heart is like the ocean, and claims the outpourings of every stream of life. To these grand souls of virtue and goodness let every man bow in reverence, for they are mothers to the motherless. When the Reaper came forth to reap he aimed to take the richest sheaf, but lo! the mother in Israel gathered the orphans together, and poured out her tenderness upon them.


Had we never loved sae kindly, Had we never loved sae blindly, Never met or never parted, We had ne'er been broken-hearted!—Burns.

Dear as remembered kisses after death, And sweet as those for others; deep as love. Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life! the days that are no more.—Tennyson.

Love, says Cowley, "is a great passion, and therefore I hope I have done with it." I think most people will agree with this sentiment. Love is such a tyrant, it leaves common sense so little to say, that the majority of people are heartily glad when reason returns to her throne and the thrilling lunacy is a remembrance instead of a fact. The remembrance is sweet, and has no angry thorn, no peremptory mandate. The young man is going along in the full enjoyment of his life, when suddenly a huge coiled spring, the existence of which has not attracted his notice, is loosed in his breast, his whole intellectual forces centre on the attainment of one object, and a mental strain begins which is of the exact nature of madness, and has ever been termed so by people who have looked at things merely by what they have seen. In the highly-feverish state of the brain the nerves of the whole system soon become involved, the stomach refuses to perform its functions, and physical emaciation and deep melancholia rapidly ensue. The obvious reason is the insane state of the brain. Nature has suddenly impressed that organ with the one idea that a certain fair maid is actually without the faults of her associates. She is the prize of the whole world! Had the world the information of her perfections which is lodged in this young man's secret brain, there would be a war of extermination for her possession—a second sack of Troy at the very least. Deep pity for other men with wives, who cannot marry this maiden, and pity for young men who have seemingly preferred other maidens, intermit with joy that all the world has been so blind.


toward his prey. The expedition is one of tremendous importance, therefore his exceeding amount of thought. When he is in the ineffable presence, he is there as an actor in a tragedy, or as a tenor in an opera. He has almost counted his hairs; he certainly counts the winkings of his eyelids! Can any detail be unimportant in an undertaking of such measureless risk? It is no wonder, then, that a young man who is giving as much thought as this to a young, thoughtless girl is not worth much in his business for the time being! In fact, it is a miracle to him, after


from his queen, that he has survived the night and goes to his work at all! He is confident that it is base habit. "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt!" he cries, as his dissatisfied employer, or father, requires some reasonable action and fails to get it. In after-life this same young man is glad the "grand passion" will never come to him again. He feels that it has not heightened him in his own regard. His love may have been smooth or it may have been swallowed in the quicksands of adversity—the difference is small. It is not creditable to the human brain to be so hoodwinked and purblind as Cupid makes his victims. But


having its climax in God himself, and its earthly ideality in the mother's affection. We should not complain that when the potent essence is first administered to us it shakes us seriously. Without this passion, selfishness would triumph, and man would not take on the cares of wedded life. Society and religion would wither. The world would be a howling den of chaos and deep crime.


I think they are inclined to praise it, as a whole—to indorse it merely as a sensation, a passing gratification. It has always, on the contrary, seemed to me like an exquisitely painful means to an exquisitely beautiful end. The warm genial love of the home—the love which is as an open grate, cheerful, and which is without those thunderstorms needful to clear the heavily charged atmosphere of youthful love—pleases and repays me for "the dangers I have passed." "The greatest pleasure of life is love," says Sir William Temple. "Love is like the hunter," says Ralph Waldo Emerson, "who cares not for the game when once caught, which he may have pursued with the most intense and breathless eagerness." This is true of only a minority of the hunters. I have more frequently bought additional fish than thrown away those I have caught. Why? Because the weariness and difficulty of catching two or three rock bass had impressed me with the value of a whole string of fish. You have seen


to make the captive mouse believe she is not on guard. She walks away with the utmost indifference. But let the mouse so much as move its crushed little body, she is upon it with the ferocity of the greatest members of her agile tribe. So it is with us. Let our possession escape us, our consternation is complete. Again the spring uncoils, and again we are madmen. "A murderous guilt shows not itself more soon than love that would seem hid; love's night is noon," says Shakspeare. "It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all" sings Tennyson. "Nothing but real love," says Lord Lytton, "can repay us for the loss of freedom, the cares and fears of poverty,


that we both despise and respect." "Love," says Sir Thomas Overbury, wittily, "is a superstition that doth fear the idol which itself hath made." "To reveal its complacence by gifts," says Mrs. Sigourney, "is one of the native dialects of love." "Love is never so blind as when it is to spy faults," says South. "Love reckons days for years," says Dryden, "and every little absence is an age." "Where love has once obtained an influence," observes Plautus dryly, "any flavoring, I believe, will please." "That is the true reason of love," says Goethe, "when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could either have loved so before us, and that no one will love in the same way after us."


so forcibly or bind so fast," says melancholy Burton, "as love can do with only a single thread." "Where there exists the most ardent and true love," says Valerius Maximus, "it is often better to be united in death than separated in life." "A man of sense may love like a madman," says Rochefoucauld, "but not like a fool." Says Addison, who was a bachelor, and knew little about the heart: "Ridicule, perhaps, is a better expedient against love than sober advice; and I am of the opinion that Hudibras and Don Quixote may be as effectual to cure the extravagance of this passion as any one of the old philosophers." "Love lessens woman's delicacy and increases man's," says Richter. This accords with common observation. "It makes us proud when our love of a mistress is returned," says Hazlitt, in a rambling manner; "it ought to make us prouder still when we can love her for herself alone, without the aid of any such selfish reflection. This is the religion of love." All such argument proceeds on the theory that love is a sawing of wood, a digging of potatoes, or some such "emotion," to be entirely controlled by the will and regulated by the decencies. "Loving," says Shakspeare, "goes by haps; some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps." "The accepted and betrothed lover has lost the wildest charms of his maiden, in her acceptance of him," says Emerson, again; "she was heaven whilst he pursued her as a star—she cannot be heaven if she stoops to such a one as he." I do not think Emerson has got exactly the right idea of the way a lover feels just there. Here it is and nearer the truth—I do not know the author's name:

I've thought, if those dumb, heathen gods could breathe, As shapeless, strengthless, wooden things they stand, And feel the holy incense round them wreathe, And see before them offerings of the land; And know that unto them is worship paid From pure hearts, kneeling on the verdant sod, Looking to helplessness, for light and aid Because by fate they know no higher god: How their dull hearts must ache with constant pain, And sense of shame, and fear to be flung down When all their weakness must one day be plain, And fire avenge the undeserved crown. And reading my love's letter, sad and sweet, I sigh, Knowing that such a helpless, wooden god am I.

"The comparison of love to fire holds good in one respect," says Henry Home, "that the fiercer it burns the sooner it is extinguished." "Love me little love me long" says Marlowe. "The plainest man, that can convince a woman," says Colton, "that he is really in love with her, has done more to make her in love with him than the handsomest man, if he can produce there is a silence in it that suspends the foot; and the folded arms and the dejected head are the images it reflects." "Love is but another name for that inscrutable presence by which the soul is connected with humanity," says Simms. "The beings who appear cold," says Madame Swetchine, "adore where they dare to love." "Man, while he loves, is never quite depraved," says Charles Lamb. "It is possible," says Terence, referring to the unquestionable temporary insanity of the passion, "that a man can be so changed by love that one could not recognize him to be the same person." "Solid love, whose root is virtue, can no more die, than virtue itself," says Erasmus, who was probably talking about a requited affection.


who loved another man's wife all his life, simply because he fell in love with her before she married the other fellow, does not strike me as exactly the proper thing, or exactly the manly thing. I like better the Sensible Shepherd of George Wither, who sang jauntily:

Be she fairer than the day, Or the flowery meads in May,

If she be not so to me, What care I how fair she be?

Kill off your love if it be not returned, as though it were a condemned felon. The execution is a painful scene, but the effect on your manhood is good. "True love were very unlovely," says Sir Philip Sidney, "if it were half so deadly as lovers term it!" "There are few people," says Rochefoucauld, "who are not ashamed of their loves when the fit is over." "In love we are all fools alike," says Gay. "We that are true lovers" says Shakspeare, "run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly." "O love," cries LaFontaine, "when thou gettest dominion over us,


"Love can hope where reason would despair," says Lyttleton. "O love, the beautiful, the brief!" exclaims Schiller. "Love at two-and-twenty is a terribly intoxicating draught," says Ruffini. "At lovers' perjuries they say Jove laughs," smiles Shakspeare. "Where love and wisdom drink out of the same cup, in this everyday world, it is the exception," said Madame Neckar. "The poets, the moralists, the painters, in all their descriptions, allegories, and pictures," says Addison, "have represented love as a soft torment, a bitter sweet, a pleasing pain, or an agreeable distress." "O how this spring of love resembleth the uncertain glory of an April day!


be still, drum! for your manager is in love; yea, he loveth!" says Shakspeare. "I do much wonder," says the King of Thought, again, "that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his favor to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, became the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love."


says DuCoeur. "Love begins by love, and the strongest friendship could only give birth to a feeble love." "Love, which is only an episode in the life of man," says Madame DeStael, "is the entire history of woman's life." "Love is a spaniel," says Colton, "that prefers even punishment from one hand to caresses from another." "A man loved by a beautiful and virtuous woman, carries a talisman that renders him invulnerable," says Madame Dudevant; "everyone feels that such a one's life has a higher value than that of others." "There are no little events with love," says Balzac; "it places in the same scales the fall of an empire and the dropping of a woman's glove." "There's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young dream," says Moore. "Where there is love in the heart," says Beecher, "there are rainbows in the eyes, which cover every black cloud with gorgeous hues." "The greatest happiness of life," says Victor Hugo, "is the conviction that we are loved for ourselves—say,


"Love makes its record in deeper colors," says Longfellow, "as we grow out of childhood into manhood; as the Emperors signed their names in green ink when under age, but when of age, in purple." "The heart of a young woman in love is a golden sanctuary," says Paulin Limayrac, "which often enshrines an idol of clay." This thought, the reader can see is a close neighbor of the Boston poet's idea of the "base wooden god," spoken of a while back. "We forgive more faults in love than in friendship," says Henry Home; "expostulations betwixt friends end generally ill, but well betwixt lovers."

"Gold," says Deluzy, "does not satisfy love; it must be paid back in its own coin." "The platform of the altar of love," says Jane Porter, with great accuracy of metaphor, "is constructed of virtue, beauty, and affection; such is the pyre, such the offering; but the ethereal spark must come from heaven that lights the sacrifice." "This passion is," says Dr. South, "the great instrument and engine of nature, the bond and cement of society, the spring and spirit of the universe. It is the whole man wrapped up into one desire, all the power, vigor, and faculties of the soul


"Samson was so tempted," says Shakspeare, "and he had an excellent strength; yet was Solomon so seduced; and he had a very good wit." There has always been one time in a man's life when he felt poets should sing only of this one act in the drama of life. Here is the idea—the same idea we have all had, only dressed in better raiment, for Alexander Smith took great pride in the children of his brain: "Methinks all poets should be gentle, fair, and ever young, and ever beautiful; I would have all poets to be like to this—gold-haired and rosy-lipped, to sing of love." Finally, said the Great Napoleon: "Love is the occupation of the idle man, the amusement of the busy one, and


Thus, if we will turn through the pages of our books, we will see everywhere the marks of love upon men's minds. It is a rude bath, which when we have grown more accustomed to the waters, delights and satisfies, and in our sleep our dreams are beautiful. It is natural, and therefore need not be called laudable—though if it were not a part of our development, schools of love would be a necessity, to teach men how to love without scandal in the sight of God.


to those not acting one of the two parts, yet it is well to remember our own experience. "Love is the fulfilling of the law," says the Bible; "many waters cannot quench it, neither can the floods drown it." Neither can the selfish aim nor the cruel jest of the parent whom it discommodes do aught but fan the flame if God and not folly have truly lighted it. The danger of handling carelessly the fire of the heart is one of the gravest which confront the guardians of younger lives. The switch is fixed; the train is approaching; if you attempt to turn the train you must not only know where it is going after it shall be turned, but you must have the skill to see whether there yet remains time to make the movement with success. A wreck by a switchman is a fearful thing!


"Their Love was like the lava-flood That burns in AEtna's breast of flame."

And when with envy Time, transported, Shall think to rob us of our joys, You'll in your girls again be courted, And I'll go wooing in my boys.—Percy.

On flies time, and thus the tale goes on. You are in love with an amiable maiden, and she is pleased. If you could see further into her heart you would find she was idolatrous. But this matter of courtship must have shown you how careless you have been with your money through all those years you might have been hoarding it for this great need. But you did not save your wages, probably, or if you did you are an exceptional young man. You now need money. You should work about fifteen months before you marry. It will be a long, tedious, unpleasant pull, trying to the affections, and it is generally very trying to the health; but it is necessary, and if you have not the persistence to save money for fifteen months, in the meantime quarreling and making up, with all the quarters of the moon, you have not the solidity of citizenship, and will be better unmarried. "Successful love takes a load off our hearts, and puts it upon our shoulders" says Bovee. Square up your shoulders! Get under the load so that you can carry it! The days of responsibility have come. The larger the responsibilities look, the deeper the young man usually loves. The day of the Chicago fire a man put up a pine shed on the ruins of a marble palace, and on his sign he painted


People who thought those two things a small capital were greatly mistaken, for that same man is now rich again. When you hear of a man being ruined by getting married, ask for names and dates. The name will usually settle it. Along the front of the lake at Chicago is a breakwater. In hot weather this pier is nearly covered with men of leisure, taking midsummer-night dreams. They are the so-called "harvesters" who start out in droves into the country after something to do—"forced to search for work and not find it!" Marriage has not ruined them. You will find that the men your adviser shows you who has been ruined by marriage, was a born wharf-rat, fit only to be shot with a gun big enough to save the expense of any further funeral.


of a man being worse off married than single. As a married man, he is on the right path. As a single man, there is no anchor for him. He may be here to-day, in San Francisco next week. Then, in two or three years, he will be back, as poor as ever. You will have to work, of course. But you have never before done your share of the work. If you are a smart man, you can do your share and more too. You will have a home of your own. You could never get one as a single man, perhaps, because you would not need one.


as a married man. It seems to me that a virtuous, sober, christian, unmarried man should have twice the credit of a married man, for he is certainly exposed to thousands of extra temptations. Everything is natural in marriage. The builder has "builded wiser than he knew." At thirty-five he finds himself well along on the successful journey of life. His bachelor friend who has lived a selfish existence is poorer, has lost the charm of youth, and is skurrying around to get a wife who will be a queen and slave at the same time. His bachelor friend is


among the last crop of young girls, who can recollect how he went with their married sisters, and he will be satisfied with nothing above eighteen, though his hair is dropping out, or frosting like a cold night in September. If he had not been so selfish he would have been married eight or ten years ago. Now


The friends of his youth have formed the new ties that have come with the march of the years. The trees have their leaves, and cast a grateful shadow, cool and sweet. The bachelor is bare, and under his branches the hot and withering sun pours down unpleasantly. You are lucky to have escaped such a lot, for it is O, so lonesome and unsatisfactory to man! It is not good for him to be alone. Now,


there is one bearing alone which will bring forth good fruit. Be honest and sincere. Remember that the philosophers and sages of the centuries have been studying and marveling over the thing called Truth—why it is that it always asserts itself—why it is that its parts always coincide with each other, as though they had first been put together! When you see cut stones unloading before the site of a building, you know by the marks on them that, when they are put together, they will make a fine-looking front, for the architect has copied them from the front of some building which has, sometime or other, been erected just as this projected structure will be. But here is


you enter it without a human architect, hew out a stone, hew out another, and another, and soon a beautiful edifice arises, in the walls of which there is not a single peep-hole or blemish. Everything fits. So bear yourself toward your future partner for life that when you enter the quarry of your brain for her information, you also enter this quarry of Truth. The stones you now cut out will stand as the buttresses of the walls!


Tell her, when you tell her anything at all, the exact truth. Be very careful about this. Tell her particularly about your money affairs. Your happiness depends more on food and clothes than you are now able to understand. But if you put in solid blocks of truth for the basement, the finer developments of your life will join on with precision and effect. I know a young man who went in debt for a fine span of horses and wagon. His bride supposed they were his own, and he "let her suppose."


of the veriest toil and the most honorable career never wholly expunged the blame which attached to him in both her mind and the minds of her people. It was so foolish in him! One little speech, and long years of bitter pride-wounding would have been averted. The young woman would have married him, just as quickly, for it is easy to make terms before marriage in this country. Do not promise to do things which depend more on events than on yourself. Do not promise to love your future wife always. She may prove unworthy of it. You may prove incapable of it.


to ennoble yourself so that your affections will solidify. The companionship of a woman will do much to help you. Promise little by word of mouth—everything by actions. Then, as your days come and go, your character constantly comes more fully into the light, and that light is one of broad, pleasant, humanly love. Your wife will be sure to live happily, for you have built within her mind no extravagant expectations.


See the absurd and ridiculous promises made upon it! Why do they dare so to humbug the people? Because, in no other way could they get people to ride ten or twelve miles through a summer drouth to hand over their money to the man who is anxious to get it! Here is a man in a chariot, with tigers plunging under his rein like the rays from the sun.

Here is a pyramid of elephants four elephants high! Here is the acrobat in the midst of the smoke and blaze of an Armstrong cannon, beginning some flight to a far-off trapeze, or swing, in the air! It is somewhat different inside.


is an enlarged rat trap with two sleepy, disgusted overgrown cats in it—cats which do not thrive well in this cold land, and which do not smell any too sweet and clean. The pyramid of fine-looking picture-elephants is an ugly live elephant or two standing on a beer-keg or two, which is a wonderful feat for elephants, of course, but not an entertaining one to human sight-seers; and as a final swindle, the cannon act is a man on a spring disguised as a wooden cannon, who is thus hoisted a few feet into the air, where he catches hold of his swinging bar and completes the usual act of an "aerial acrobat." "Fi on't!" as Hamlet says; "reform it altogether!"


before your divinity. She would love you if she thought you were just a common man, like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln; so, if you tell her you are poverty-stricken and prodigal, and it be true, then she will think that she had rather have a demi-god, poor as Job's turkey, than a common young man, like your brother or your friend, with all the gold of King Plutus! Bring to her an honest heart, and you will, indeed, bring treasures before her, and she would have no right to complain, even were she so inclined. Love does not seem to be a matter of volition—


"No man or woman," says Arthur Helps, "was ever cured of love by discovering the falseness of his or her lover. The living together for three long rainy days in the country, has done more to dispel love than all the perfidies in love that have ever been committed." Just think of that during all the time of your courtship. Dread the "living together," and when you come to stand the test, the test will not be too great for you. A young man, truly, doesn't need to be married, as a full-grown one does. But


Our bachelor friend of forty wants to reap just as badly as you, but his fields will be waste while yours will be growing. When you get your life insured at twenty-one they charge you about ten times what the risk really is. Why? Because, although they have not the least idea that you are going to die now, they know the mortgage is on your life, and the dues, when you pass fifty, would, in justice, be higher than mortal man would pay. Therefore they even it up.


for your old age, and, until lately, the courts held you could collect that surplus, if your contract were not completed to the end of your existence. Thus, in marrying, you are following the wise ordinance of God. You are choosing a blooming, healthy young woman while you are yourself fresh enough to attract her love and hold it. You are living as a married man while you might, probably, live with more strictly selfish personal comfort up to thirty-five as a single man; but you are,


immensely better off than the single man, and you will, besides, always be given a better place in society than he, because society likes to see every member in its ranks doing his duty like a man and helping to bear the burdens as well as reap the benefits which our system of living deals out to those who participate in it.


and the young lady also have that disease, consult the physicians of your families. A very learned man, in a series of papers in the Atlantic Monthly, some years ago, refused to forbid such marriages entirely. Put yourselves especially under the care of your doctors, and follow their advice implicitly. If the young lady, alone, is consumptive, extend your engagement and wait for events. If you yourself are thus tainted with disease, I have little hesitation in saying that it is not manly to get married until you are entirely out of the reach of pecuniary want without your labor, and even then there are other considerations of nearly equal importance which should lead you to frequent conferences with your family doctor.


and life is earnest." If you are healthy, thank God for it, and sing merrily while you build the nest which will hold the mate in warmth and comfort. After the harbor of refuge is built, the ship will find a pleasant and ever-welcome anchorage during the big storms outside.

Take the daughter of a good mother.


The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men; A thousand hearts beat happily; and when Music arose with its voluptuous swell, Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again, And all went merry as a marriage-bell.—Byron.

Quotation of this verse is made, not because it celebrated a marriage—it, rather, commemorated the frightful carnage of Waterloo—- but because it very faithfully represents the fashionable beginning of wedded life, to which it alludes. There seems to be in woman an inherited, instinctive desire for this kind of thing at her marriage. It is cruel to deny her, therefore man usually goes through with it like a martyr. My prejudices are so heartily enlisted against "blow-outs" of this kind that I feel the compunctions of an honest judge at sitting in such a case. Nevertheless, I may relate some things I have seen, to show how badly a couple may start in life. Here is one instance: The dust has filled the air for six blocks around some stately church. The "hacks" and private barouches and coupes have been packed together so that any movement was entirely impossible; the bride has come like a queen of the orient; she has walked on flowers to the vestibule; there she has passed under an arch of tuberoses; half-way down the aisle a gate of jessamines and smilax has opened with a smothering sense of richness; at the altar she has actually knelt on a pillow of camellias (fifty cents apiece); and a fifty-dollar organist has put on his full instrument, as though he were proclaiming the glory of God most mighty, instead of the folly of man most miserable. Into the church have thronged the elect, proud and disdainful; on the outside has stared the vulgar multitude, too ignorant for anything but rapt wonderment. From the temple of high-priced worship the celebrants have passed, in a still more exclusive body, to a residence where a banquet has been prepared by a man who generally makes ice cream for a living, and where a dazzling display of wedding presents has been uncovered to the careless gaze. Then the train bears away the twain of one foolish flesh, and the farce is over.


The elect read the newspapers next morning with a smile. None but he of the vulgar multitude was hoodwinked. The man and the woman have spent all their money to purchase a "swell wedding." The presents were hired, so were most of the "hacks." The florist has got part of his money. The couple, six months afterward, are "beating" some poor landlady out of their board, and the man, in all likelihood, will never again be heard of. But the women have been intensely agitated by the event. They have never thought about the subsequent aspects of the case.


would be willing to spare a single "hack" or one double camellia. Why did the young man and the young woman do it? They did it principally out of vanity, in imitation of some rich person who desired to distribute his money among hard-working folks and at the same time create a feeling of envy among his fellows and "please the women folk."


if we have five hundred or a thousand dollars, to buy those necessaries of life which will enable us to live without debt after we are settled for life. We are sailing out of the harbor. Would it not be ridiculous for us to heave into the water our provisions, as a symbol of our delirious joy?—would not our ship be a ship of death when we reached the middle of the sea? There is just as much joy in a simple wedding which has properly shown our respect for the event as the third in importance of all which will punctuate our history. We have been born; we will die;


"A man finds himself seven years older, the day after his marriage," says Lord Bacon. "Men should keep their eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterwards," says Madame Scuderie. "Marriage is a feast," says Colton, "where the grace is sometimes better than the dinner." "Mistress," cries Shakspeare, "know yourself; down on your knees, and thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love. For I must tell you friendly in your ear,—sell when you can; you are not for all markets." "To love early and marry late," says Richter, "is to hear a lark singing at dawn, and at night to eat it roasted for supper." "Marriages are best of dissimilar material," says Theodore Parker.


in a true sense," says Michelet, "is, in the first place, and above all things, to have a wife." "It is in vain for a man to be born fortunate," says Dacier, "if he be unfortunate in his marriage." "When it shall please God to bring thee to man's estate," says Sir Philip Sidney, "use great providence and circumspection in choosing thy wife. For from thence will spring all thy future good or evil; and it is an action of life, like unto a stratagem of war; wherein a man can err but once!" "We are not very much to blame for our bad marriages," says Ralph Waldo Emerson;


and this especial trap is laid to trip up our feet with, and all are tripped up, first or last. But the mighty mother nature, who had been so sly with us, as if she felt she owed us some indemnity, insinuates into the Pandora box of marriage some deep and serious benefits and some great joys." "It is a mistake to consider marriage merely as a scheme of happiness," says Chapin; "it is also a bond of service. It is the most ancient form of that social ministration which God has ordained for human beings, and which is symbolized by all the relations of nature." "Marriage" says Selden, "is a desperate thing;


were extremely wise; they had a great mind to some water, but they would not leap into the well, because they could not get out again." Why were they wise? They were not wise at all. I have seen frogs in wells who are more contented than they would be outside. "Men are April when they woo, December when they wed," says Shakspeare; but he also says that "maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives," so it is an even tilt between two forms of human nature. "If idleness be the root of all evil," says Vanbruch, "then matrimony is good for something, for it sets many a poor woman to work." "In the opinion of the world," says Madame Swetchine, "marriage ends all; as it does in a comedy;


It begins all. So they say of death, 'It is the end of all things.' Yes, just as much as marriage!" "Humble wedlock," says St. Augustine, "is far better than proud virginity." "Never marry but for love," says William Penn, in his will; "but see that thou lovest what is lovely!" "Strong are the instincts with which God has guarded the sacredness of marriage," says Maria McIntosh. We cannot bear this remark too constantly in mind. You would not dare shut off your supply of water, because you know you will need it. But you are sometimes tempted to shut off your supplies of love; and men do sometimes do it, and


from clear soul-starvation. "Up to twenty-one I hold the father to have power over his children as to marriage," says Coleridge; "after that age he has authority and influence only. Show me one couple unhappy merely on account of their limited circumstances, and I will show you ten who are wretched from other causes." "He that takes a wife takes care," says Ben Franklin. "I chose my wife," says Goldsmith, "as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well." "Before marriage," says Addison,


and discerning in the faults of the person beloved, nor after it too dimsighted and superficial. Marriage enlarges the scene of our happiness and miseries.


is pleasant; a marriage of interest easy; and a marriage where both meet, happy. A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendship, all the enjoyments of sense and reason, and, indeed, all the sweets of life." "It is the policy of the Londoners," says Thomas Fuller, "when they send a ship into the Mediterranean Sea, to make every mariner therein a merchant, each seaman venturing somewhat of his own, which will make him more wary to avoid, and more valiant to undergo dangers. Thus married men, especially if having posterity, are


wherein they live, which engageth their affections to the greater loyalty." "Matrimony hath something in it of nature, something of civility, something of divinity," says Bishop Hall. "Though matrimony may have some pains, celibacy has few pleasures," says old Dr. Johnson, a bachelor. Again says he: "Marriage is the best state for man in general; and every man is a worse man in proportion as he is unfit for the married state." "Marriage is an institution," says Sir Richard Steele "celebrated for a constant scene of as much delight as our being is capable of."


When the sages, the critics, and the people who love to say smart things, paint the infelicities of marriage, they as often paint simply the general troubles of life, which are common to all people. The bachelor is more apt to be kept awake by the crying child in the next chamber than is the father in the same room with the child. The young man quarrels with his landlady as often as the young husband quarrels with his wife. The young man notoriously finds his wants as lightly resting on the memories of those he hires to attend to them as does the husband of the most careless wife. He cannot escape the sickness of life with even the good fortune of a married man, according to the statistics of the Government. The married woman is also healthier than the maid. So, then, get the critics of the married state to specify its various unhappinesses; then subtract from that schedule all that come alike to the single state, and you will find that marriage, for its separate joys, has not a separate set of troubles in as great proportion. The very highest evidence of the usefulness and agreeableness of marriage is gathered from the well-known haste in which both men and women, when death takes away their companions, seek, in a second marriage, a renewal of those relations which, in their opinion, lend additional charm to the drama of life.

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