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It praiseth thy good without envy, it chideth thine evil without malice,
It is to thee thy waiting slave, and thine unbending teacher.
Need to humour no caprice, need to bear with no infirmity;
Thy sin, thy slander, or neglect, chilleth not, quencheth not, its love;
Unalterably speaketh it the truth, warped not by error nor interest;
For a good book is the best of friends, the same to-day and for ever.

To draw thee out of self, thy petty plans and cautions,
To teach thee what thou lackest, to tell thee how largely thou art blest,
To lure thy thought from sorrow, to feed thy famished mind,
To graft another's wisdom on thee, pruning thine own folly ;
Choose discreetly, and well digest the volume most suited to thy case,
Touching not religion with levity, nor deep things when thou art wearied.
Thy mind is freshened by morning air, grapple with science and phi-

losophy;
Noon hath unnerved thy thoughts, dream for a while on fictions ;
Gray evening sobereth thy spirit, walk thou then with worshippers ;
But reason shall dig deepest in the night, and fancy fly most free.
O books, ye monuments of mind, concrete wisdom of the wisest;
Sweet solaces of daily life ; proofs and results of immortality ;
Trees yielding all fruits, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.
Groves of knowledge, where all may eat, nor fear a flaming sword ;
Gentle comrades, kind advisers; friends, comforts, treasures ;
Helps, governments, diversities of tongues ; who can weigh your worth ?-
To walk no longer with the just; to be driven from the porch of science

; To bid long adieu to those intimate ones, poets, philosophers, and teachers; To see no record of the sympathies which bind thee in communion with

the good; To be thrust from the feet of Him, who spake as never man spake; To have no avenue to heaven but the dim aisle of superstition ; To live as an Esquimaux, in lethargy; to die as the Mohawk, in ignor

ance:

O what were life, but a blank ? what were death, but a terror ?
What were man, but a burden to himself ? what were mind, but misery ?
Yea, let another Omar burn the full library of knowledge, (22)
And the broad world may perish in the flames, offered on the ashes of its

wisdom !

OF WRITING.

THE pen of a ready writer, whereunto shall it be likened ?
Ask of the scholar, he shall know,--to the chains that bind a Proteus :
Ask of the poet, he shall say,—to the sun, the lamp of heaven;
Ask of thy neighbour, he can answer, to the friend that telleth my thought:
The merchant considereth it well, as a ship freighted with wares;
The divine holdeth it a miracle, giving utterance to the dumb.
It fixeth, expoundeth, and disseminateth sentiment;
Chaining up a thought, clearing it of mystery, and sending it bright into

the world.
To think rightly, is of knowledge; to speak fluently, is of nature ;
To read with profit, is of care ; but to write aptly, is of practice.
No talent among men hath more scholars and fewer masters :
For to write is to speak beyond hearing, and none stand by to explain.
To be accurate, write ; to remember, write ; to know thine own mind, write :
And a written prayer is a prayer of faith ; special, sure, and to be answered.
Hast thou a thought upon thy brain, catch it while thou canst ;
Or other thoughts shall settle there, and this shall soon take wing:
Thine uncompounded unity of soul, which argueth and maketh it immortal,
Yieldeth up its momentary self to every single thought ;
Therefore, to husband thine ideas, and give them stability and substance,
Write often for thy secret eye : so shalt thou grow wiser.
The commonest mind is full of thoughts ; some worthy of the rarest;
And could it see them fairly writ, would wonder at its wealth.
O precious compensation to the dumb, to write his wants and wishes !
O dear amends to the stammering tongue, to pen his burning thoughts !
To be of the college of Eloquence, through these silent symbols ;
To pour out all the flowing mind without the toil of speech;
To show the babbling world how it might discourse more sweetly;
To prove that merchandise of words bringeth no monopoly of wisdom;
To take sweet vengeance on a prating crew, for the tongue’s dishonour,
By the large triumph of the pen, the homage rendered to a writing.
With that telegraph of mind is dearer than wealth or wisdom,
Enabling to please without pain, to impart without humiliation.

Fair girl, whose eye hath caught the rustic penmanship of love,

Let thy bright bow and blushing cheek confess in this sweet hour,-
Let thy full heart, poor guilty one, whom the scroll of pardon hath just

reached,
Thy wet glad face, O mother, with news of a far-off child,-
Thy strong and manly delight, pilgrim of other shores,
When the dear voice of thy betrothed speaketh in the letter of affection.-
Let the young poet exulting in his lay, and hope (how false) of fame,
While, watching at deep midnight, he buildeth up the verse,-
Let the calm child of genius, whose name shall never die,
For that the transcript of his mind hath made his thoughts immortal, -
Let these, let all, with no faint praise, with no light gratitude, confess
The blessings poured upon the earth from the pen of a ready writer.

Moreover, their preciousness in absence is proved by the desire of their

presence : When the despairing lover waiteth day after day, Looking for a word in reply, one word writ by that hand, And cursing bitterly the morn ushered in by blank disappointment : Or when the long-looked-for answer argueth a cooling friend, And the mind is plied suspiciously with dark inexplicable doubts, While thy wounded heart counteth its imaginary scars, And thou art the innocent and injured, that friend the capricious and in

fault : Or when the earnest petition, that craveth for thy needs Unheeded, yea, unopened, tortureth with starving delay : Or when the silence of a son, who would have written of his welfare, Racketh a father's bosom with sharp-cutting fears : For a letter, timely writ, is a rivet to the chain of affection. And a letter untimely delayed, is as rust to the solder. The pen, flowing with love, or dipped black in hate, Or tipped with delicate courtesies, or harshly edged with censure, Hath quickened more good than the sun, more evil than the sword, More joy than woman's smile, more woe than frowning fortune ; And shouldst thou ask my judgment of that which hath most profit in the

world, For answer take thou this, The prudent penning of a letter.

Thou hast not lost an hour, whereof there is a record ;
A written thought at midnight shall redeem the livelong day.

Idea is a shadow that departeth, speech is fleeting as the wind,
Reading is an unremembered pastime; but a writing is eternal :
For therein the dead heart liveth, the clay-cold tongue is eloquent,
And the quick eye of the reader is cleared by the reed of the scribe.
As a fossil in the rock, or a coin in the mortar of a ruin,
So the symbolled thoughts tell of a departed soul :
The plastic hand hath its witness in a statue, and exactitude of vision in a

picture,
And so, the mind, that was among us, in its writings is embalmed.

OF WEALTH.

PRODIGALITY hath a sister Meanness, his fixed antagonist heart-fellow,
Who often outliveth the short career of the brother she despiseth :
She hath lean lips and a sharp look, and her eyes are red and hungry;
But she sloucheth at his gait, and his mouth speaketh loosely and maudlin.
Let a spendthrift grow to be old, he will set his heart on saving,
And labour to build up by penury that which extravagance threw down:
Even so, with most men, do riches earn themselves a double curse;
They are ill-got by tight dealing: they are ill-spent by loose squandering.
Give me enough, saith Wisdom ;—for he feareth to ask for more;
And that by the sweat of my brow, addeth stout-hearted Independence:
Give me enough, and not less, for want is leagued with the tempter;
Poverty shall make a man desperate, and hurry him ruthless into crime;
Give me enough, and not more, saving for the children of distress;
Wealth ofttimes killeth, where want but hindereth the budding :
There is green glad summer near the pole, though brief and after long

winter,
But the burnt breasts of the torrid zone yield never kindly nourishment.
Wouldst thou be poor, scatter to the rich,--and reap the tares of ingratitude;
Wouldst thou be rich, give unto the poor ;-thou shalt have thine own

with usury: For the secret hand of Providence prospereth the charitable all ways, Good luck shall he have in his pursuits, and his heart shall be glad within

him ;

Yet perchance he never shall perceive, that even as to earthly gains,
The cause of his weal, as of his joy, hath been small givings to the poor.

In the plain of Benares is there found a root that fathereth a forest,
Where round the parent banian-tree drop its living scions ;
Thirstily they strain to the earth, like stalactites in a grotto,
And strike broad roots, and branch again, lengthening their cool arcades :
And the dervish madly danceth there, and the faquir is torturing his flesh,
And the calm Brahmin worshippeth the sleek and pampered bull;
At the base lean jackalls coil, while from above depending
With dull malignant stare watcheth the branch-like boa.
Even so, in man's heart is a sin that is the root of all evil;
Whose fibres strangle the affections, whose branches overgrow the mind :
And oftenest beneath its shadow thou shalt meet distorted piety,
The clenched and rigid fist, with the eyes upturned to heaven,
Fanatic zeal with miserly severity, a mixture of gain with godliness,
And him, against whom passion hath no power, kneeling to a golden calf:
The hungry hounds of extortion are there, the bond, and the mortgage

and the writ,
While the appetite for gold, unslumbering, watcheth to glut its maw :-
And the heart, so tenanted and shaded, is cold to all things else ;
It seeth not the sunshine of heaven, nor is warmed by the light of charity.

For covetousness disbelieveth God, and laugheth at the rights of men ;
Spurring unto theft and lying, and tempting to the poison and the knife;
It sundereth the bonds of love, and quickeneth the flames of hate;
A curse that shall wither the brain, and case the heart with jron.
Content is the true riches, for without it there is no satisfying,
But a revenous all-devouring hunger gnaweth the vitals of the soul.
The wise man knoweth where to stop, as he runneth in the race of fortune,
For experience of old hath taught him that happiness lingereth midway;
And many in hot pursuit have hasted to the goal of wealth,
But have lost, as they ran, those apples of gold,—the mind and the power

to enjoy it.

There is no greater evil among men than a testament framed with injustice;
Where caprice hath guided the boon, or dishonesty refused what was due.
Generous is the robber on the highway, in the open daring of his guilt,
To the secret coward, whose malice liveth and harineth after him :

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