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And thou shalt be more deeply fair,
More precious to the heart,
That lovely thing thou art !
Of fancy-fed affection;
And waken cold reflection.
O'er pleasures unreturning,
Unto the cares of morning.
Of joyous expectation,
The freshling of creation !
Her early lamp with gladness,
Her comforter in sadness.
All rich in Nature's treasure,
Of self-renewing pleasure.
Of mirth, till time shall end it;
And who shall reprehend it?-SIDNEY WALKER.
LESSON II.—THE LOVE OF COUNTRY. We can not honor our country with too deep a reverence; we can not love her with an affection too pure and fervent; we can not serve her with an energy of purpose or a faithfulness of zeal too steadfast and ardent. And what is our country? It is not the East, with her hills and her valleys, with her countless sails, and the rocky ramparts of her shores. It is not the North, with her thousand villages and her harvesthome, with her frontiers of the lake and the ocean. It is not the West, with her forest-sea and her inland isles, with her luxuriant expanses, clothed in the verdant corn; with her beautiful Ohio, and her verdant Missouri. Nor is it yet the South, opulent in the mimic snow of the cotton, in the rich plantations of the rustling cane, and in the golden robes of the rice-field. What are these but the sister families of one greater, better, holièr family, OUR COUNTRY ?_GRIMKE.
LESSON III.-A NOBLE REVENGE. 1. A YOUNG officer had so far forgotten himself, in a moment of irritation, as to strike a private soldier, full of personal dignity, and distinguished for his courage. The inexorable laws of military discipline forbade to the injured soldier any practical redress—he could look for no retaliation by acts. Words only were at his command, and, in a tumult of indig. nation, as he turned away, the soldier said to his officer that he would “make him repent it.” This, wearing the shape of a menace, naturally rekindled the officer's anger, and intercepted any disposition which might be rising within him toward a sentiment of remorse; and thus the irritation between the two young men grew hotter than before.
2. Some weeks after this a partial action took place with the enemy. Suppose yourself a spectator, and looking down into a valley occupied by the two armies. They are facing each other, you see, in martial array. But it is no more than a skirmish which is going on; in the course of which, however, an occasion suddenly arises for a desperate service. A redoubt, which has fallen into the enemy's hands, must be recaptured at any price, and under circumstances of all but hopeless difficulty.
3. A strong party has volunteered for the service; there is a cry for somebody to head them; you see a soldier step out from the ranks to assume this dangerous leadership; the party move rapidly forward ; in a few minutes it is swallowed up from your eyes in clouds of smoke; for one half hour, from behind these clouds, you receive hieroglyphic reports of bloody strife—fierce repeating signals, flashes from the guns, rolling musketry, and exulting hurras advancing or receding, slackening or redoubling.
4. At length all is over; the redoubt has been recovered; that which was lost is found again; the jewel which had been made captive is ransomed with blood. Crimsoned with glorious gore, the wreck of the conquering party is relieved, and at liberty to return. From the river you see it ascending. The plume-crested officer in command rushes forward, with his left hand raising his hat in homage to the blackened fragments of what once was a flag, while with his right hand he seizes that of the leader, though not more than a private from the ranks. That perplexes you not; mystery you see none in that. For distinctions of order perish, ranks are confound,
ed; “high and low” are words without a meaning, and to wreck goes every notion or feeling that divides the noble from the noble, or the brave man from the brave.
5. But wherefore is it that now, when suddenly they wheel into mutual recognition, suddenly they pause? This soldier, this officer—who are they? O reader! once before they had stood face to face—the soldier that was struck, the officer that struck him. Once again they are meeting; and the gaze of armies is upon them. If for a moment a doubt divides them, in a moment the doubt has perished. One glance exchanged between them publishes the forgiveness that is sealed forever.
6. As one who recovers a brother whom he has accounted dead, the officer sprang forward, threw his arms around the neck of the soldier, and kissed him, as if he were some martyr glorified by that shadow of death from which he was returning; while, on his part, the soldier, stepping back, and carrying his hand through the beautiful motions of the military salute to a superior, makes this immortal answer—that answer which shut up forever the memory of the indignity offered to him, even for the last time alluding to it: “Sir," he said, “I told you before that I would make you repent it.”
THOMAS DE QUINCEY.
LESSON IV.-HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY. (Hamlet contemplates suicide to end his troubles, but is deterred by " the dread of senething after death."]
To be', or not' to be? That is the question':
With a bare bodkin'? Who would fardels bear,
LESSON V.—THE FOLLY OF CASTLE-BUILDING. 1. ALNAS'CHAR, says the fable, was a very idle fellow, who never would set his hand to any business during his father's life. His father, dying, left to him the value of a hundred drachmas in Persian money. Alnaschar, in order to make the best of it, laid it out in glasses, bottles, and the finest earthenware. These he piled up in a large open basket, and, having made choice of a very little shop, placed the basket at his feet, and leaned his back upon the wall, in expectation of customers. As he sat in this posture, with his eyes upon the basket, he fell into a most amusing train of thought, and was overheard by one of his neighbors, as he talked to himself. “ This basket,” says he, “ cost me at the wholesale merchant's a hundred drachmas, which is all I have in the world.
2. “I shall quickly make two hundred of it by selling it in retail. These two hundred drachmas will in a little while rise to four hundred, which of course will amount in time to four thousand. Four thousand drachmas can not fail of making eight thousand. As soon as by this means I am master of ten thousand, I will lay aside my trade of a glass-man and turn jeweler. I shall then deal in diamonds, pearls, and all sorts of rich stones. When I have got together as much wealth as I can well desire, I will make a purchase of the finest house I can find. I shall then begin to enjoy myself and make a noise in the world. I will not, however, stop there, but still continue my traffic, till I have got together a hundred thousand drachmas.
3. “When I have thus made myself master of a hundred thousand drachmas, I shall naturally set myself on the footing of a prince, and will demand the Grand Vizier's daughter in marriage, after having represented to that minister the information which I have received of the beauty, wit, discretion, and other high qualities which his daughter possesses. I will let him know, at the same time, that it is my intention to make him a present of a thousand pieces of gold on our marriage night. As soon as I have married the Grand Vizier's daughter, I will make my father-in-law a visit with a grand train and equipage; and when I am piaced at his right hand -where I shall be, of course, if it be only to honor his daughter-I will give him the thousand pieces of gold which I promised him, and afterward, to his great surprise, will present him another purse of the same value, with some short speech, as, “Sir, you see I am a man of my word; I always give more than I promise.'
4. “When I have brought the princess to my house, I shall take particular care to keep her in a due respect for me. To this end, I shall confine her to her own apartment, make her a short visit, and talk but little to her. Her women will represent to me that she is inconsolable by reason of my unkindness, and beg me with tears to caress her, and let her sit down by me; but I shall still remain inexorable, and will turn my back upon her. Her mother will then come and bring her daughter to me, as I am seated upon my sofa. The daughter, with tears in her eyes, will fling herself at my feet, and beg of me to receive her into my favor. Then will I, to imprint in her a thorough veneration for my person, draw up my legs and spurn her from me with my foot, in such a manner that she shall fall down several paces from the sofa.”
5. Alpaschar was entirely swallowed up in this chimerical vision, and could not forbear acting with his foot what he had in his thoughts. So that, unluckily striking his basket of brittle ware, which was the foundation of all his grandeur, he kicked his glasses to a great distance from him into the street, and broke them into ten thousand pieces.—ADDISON.
LESSON VI.—THE STRANGER AND HIS FRIEND.
Matt., xxv., 35.
Hath often crossed me on my way,
That I could never answer nay.