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Where is the sick untended, or in prison, and they visited him not ?
The hungry is fed, and the thirsty satisfied, till ability set limits to the
And those who did it unto them, have done it unto God !
For human benevolence is large, though many matters dwarf it,
Prudence, ignorance, imposture, and the straitenings of circumstance and
time. And if to the body, so to the mind, the mass of men are generous : Their estimate who know us best, is seldom seen to err: Be sure the fault is thine, as pride, or shallowness, or vanity, If all around thee, good and bad, neglect thy seeming merit: No man yet deserved, who found not some to love him ; And he that never kept a friend need only blame himself: Many for unworthiness will droop and die, but all are not unworthy ; It must indeed be cold clay soil that killeth every seed. Therefore examine thy state, O self-accounted martyr of Neglect, It may be, thy merit is a cubit, and thy measure thereof a furlong: But grant it greater than thy thoughts, and grant that men thy fellows For pleasure, business, or interest, misuse, forget, neglect thee,Still be thou conqueror in this, the consciousness of high deservings; Let it suffice thee to be worthy; faint not thou for praise ; For that thou art, be grateful; go humbly even in thy confidence; And set thy foot on the neck of an enemy so harmless as Neglect.
GODLINESS with Contentment,—these be the pillars of felicity,
Jachin, wherewithal it is established, and Boaz, in the which is strength :(18)
their capitals is lily-work, the lotus fruit and flower,
Those fair and fragrant types of holiness, innocence, and beauty ;
Great gain pertaineth to the pillars, nets and chains of wreathen gold,
And they stand up straight in the temple porch, the house where Glory
The body craveth meats, and the spirit is athirst for peacefulness;
He that hath these, hath enough ; for all beyond is vanity.
Surfeit vaulteth over pleasure, to light upon the hither side of pain ;
And great store is great care, the rather if it mightily increaseth.
Albeit too little is a trouble, yet too much shall swell into an evil,
If wisdom stand not nigh to moderate the wishes :
For covetousness never had enough, but moaneth at its wants for ever,
And rich men have commonly more need to be taught contentment than
That hungry chasm in their market-place gapeth still unsatisfied,
Yea, fling in all the wealth of Rome,-it asketh higher victims;
So, when the miser's gold cannot fill the measure of his lust,
Curtius must leap into the pit, and avarice shall close upon his life. ("")
Behold Independence in his rags, all too easily contented,
Careful for nothing, thankful for much, and uncomplaining in his poverty;
Such an one have I somewhile seen earn his crust with gladness :
He is a gatherer of simples, culling wild herbs upon the hills:
And now, as he sitteth on the beach, with his mortherless child beside him,
To rest them in the cheerful sun, and sort their mints and horehound,
Tell me, can ye find upon his forehead the cloud of covetous anxiety,
Or note the dull unkindled eyes of sated sons of pleasure ?
For there is more joy of life with that pour picker of the ditches,
among the multitude of wealthy who wed their gains to discontent.
I have seen many rich, burdened with the fear of poverty;
I have seen many poor, buoyed with all the carelessness of wealth;
For the rich had the spirit of a pauper, and the moneyless a liberal heart;
The first enjoyeth not for having, and the latter hath nothing but enjoy-
ment. None is poor but the mean in mind, the timorous, the weak, and unbe
lieving; None is wealthy but the affluent in soul, who is satisfied and floweth over. The poor-rich is attenuate for fears, the rich-poor is fattened upon hopes ; Cheerfulness is one, man's welcome, and the other warneth from him by
his gloom. Many poor have the pleasures of the rich, even in their own possessions ; And many rich miss the poor man's comforts, and yet feel all his cares. Liberty is affluence, and the Helots of anxiety never can be counted weal
thy; But he that is disenthralled from fear, goeth for the time a king;
He is royal, great, and opulent, living free of fortune,
And looking on the world as owner of its good, the Maker's child and heir:
Whereas the covetous is slavish, a very Midas in his avarice.
Full of dismal dreams, and starved amongst his treasures :
The ceaseless spur of discontent goaded him with instant apprehension,
And his thirst for gold could never be quenched, for he drank with the
throat of Crassus. (15)
Vanity and dreary disappointment, care, and weariness and envy;
Vanity is graven upon all things; wisely spake the preacher.
For ambition is a burning mountain, thrown up amid the turbid sea,
A Stromboli in sullen pride above the hissing waves :
And the statesman climbing there, forgetful of his patriot intentions,
Shall hate the strife of each rough step, or ever he hath toiled midway;
And every truant from his home, the happy home of duty,
Shall live to loathe his eminence of cares, that seething smoke and lava.
Contentment is the temperate repast, flowing with milk and honey ;
Ambition is the drunken orgy, fed by liquid flames ;
A black and bitter frown is stamped upon the forehead of Ambition,
But fair Contentment's angel-face is rayed with winning smiles.
There was in Tyre a merchant, the favourite child of fortune,
An opulent man with many ships, to trade in many climes ;
And he rose up early to his merchandise, after feverish dreaming,
And lay down late to his hot unrest, overwhelmed with calculated cares.
So, day by day, and month by month, and year by year, he gained;
And grew gray, and waxed great; for money brought him all things.
All things ?-verily not all; the kernel of the nut is lacking -
His mind was a stranger to content, and as for Peace, he knew her not:
Luxuries palled upon his palate, and his eyes were satiate with purple ;
He could coin much gold, but buy no happiness with it.
And on a day, a day of dread, in the heat of inordinate ambition,
When he threw with a gambler's hand, to lose or to double his posses-
The chance hit him,—he had speculated ill,—and men began to whisper ;-
Those he trusted, failed; and their usuries had bribed him deeply:
One ship foundered out at sea,--and another met the pirate,-
And so, with broken fortunes, men discreetly shunned him.
He was a stricken stag, and went to hide away in solitude,
And there in humility, he thought-he resolved, and promptly acted: From the wreck of all his splendours, from the dregs of the goblet of afflu
ence, He saved with management a morsel and a drop, for his daily cup and
platter: And lo, that little was enough, and in enough was competence : His cares were gone,-he slept by night, and lived at peace by day: Cured of his guilty selfishness,-money's love, envy, competition,He lived to be thankful in a cottage that he had lost a palace : For he found in his abasement, what he vainly had sought in high estate, Both mind and body well at ease, though robed in the russet of the lowly.
Once more; a certain priest, happy in his high vocation,
With faith, and hope, and charity, well served his village altar ;
As men count riches, he was poor ; but great were his treasures in heaven,
And great his joys on earth, for God's sake doing good :
He had few cares and many consolations, one of the welcome every where ;
The labourer accounted him his friend, and magnates did him honour at
their table :
With a large heart and little means he still made many grateful,
And felt as the centre of a circle, of comfort, calmness, and content.
But on a weaker Sabbath,—for he preached both well and wisely,-
Some casual hearer loudly praised his great neglected talents :
Why should he be buried in obscurity, and throw these pearls to swine ?
Could he not still be doing good,--the whilst he pushed his fortunes ?.
Then came temptation, even on the spark of discontent ;
The neighbouring town had a pulpit to be filled ; hotly did he canvass and
Now was he popular and courted, and listened to the spell of admiration,
And toiled to please the taste, rather than to pierce the conscience.
Greedily he sought, and seeking found, the patronizing notice of the great ;
He thirsted for emoluments and honours, and counted rich men happy :
So he flattered, so he preached; and gold and fame flowed in;
They flowed in-he was reaping his reward,—and he felt himself a fool.
Alas, what a shadow was he following,—how precious was the substance
he had left!
Man for God, gold for good, this was his miserable bargain.
The village church, its humble flock, and humbler parish priest,
Zeal, devotion, and approving heaven,,his books, and simple life,
His little farm and flower-beds,-his recreative rambles with a friend,
And haply at the eventide the leaping trouts, to help their humble fare,
All these wretchedly exchanged for what the world called fortune,
With the harrowing conscience of a state relapsed to vain ambitions.
Then, for God was gracious to his soul, his better thoughts returned,
And better aims with better thoughts, his holy walk of old.
Sickened of style, and ostentation, and the dissipative fashions of society,
He deserted from the ranks of Mammon, and renewed his allegiance to
For he found that the praises of men, and all that gold can give,
Are not worthy to be named against godliness and calm contentment.
A CHILD was playing in a garden, a merry little child,
Bounding with triumphant health, and full of happy fancies ;
His kite was floating in the sunshine,—but he tied the string to a twig,
And ran among the roses to catch a new-born butterfly;
His horn-book lay upon a bank, but the pretty truant hid it,
Buried up in gathered grass, and moss, and sweet wild-thyme;
He launched a paper boat upon the fountain,—then wayward turned aside,
To twine some vagrant jessamines about the dripping marble :
So, in various pastime, shadowing the schemes of manhood,
That curly-headed boy consumed the golden hours:
And I blessed his glowing face, envying the merry little child,
As he shouted with the ecstasy of being, clapping his hands for joyfulness :
For I said, Surely, O Life, thy name is happiness and hope,
Thy days are bright, thy flowers are sweet, and pleasure the condition of
A youth was walking in the moonlight, walking not alone,
For a fair and gentle maid leant on his trembling arm :
Their whispering was still of beauty, and the light of love was in their
eyes, Their twin young hearts had not a thought unvowed to love and beauty :