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Youth is confident, manhood wary, and old age confident again:
suspicion. A thousand volumes in a thousand tongues, enshrine the lessons of
Experience, Yet a man shall read them all, and go forth none the wiser: For self-love lendeth him a glass, to colour all he conneth, Lest in the features of another he find his own complexion. And we secretly judge of ourselves, as differing greatly from all men, And love to challenge causes to show how we can master their effects: Pride is pampered in expecting that we need not fear a common fate, Or wrong-headed prejudice exulteth, in combating old experience; Or perchance caprice and discontent are the spurs that goad us into danger, Careless, and half in hope to find there an enemy to joust with. Private experience is an unsafe teacher, for we rarely learn both sides, And from the gilt surface reckon not on steel beneath : 'The torrid sons of Guinea think scorn of icy seas, And the frostbitten Greenlander disbelieveth suns too hot. But thou, student of Wisdom, feed on the marrow of the matter; If thou wilt suspect, let it be thyself; if thou wilt expect, let it not be
OF ESTIMATING CHARACTER.
RASHLY, nor ofttimes truly, doth man pass judgment on his brother;
mind. And the world is not wiser than of old, when justice was meted by the
sword, When the spear avenged the wrong, and the lot decided the right, When the footsteps of blindfold innocence were tracked by burning
ploughshares, And the still condemning water delivered up the wizard to the stake: For we wait, like the sage of Salamis, to see what the end will be, (14) Fixing the right or the wrong, by the issues of failure or success. Judge not of things by their events; neither of character by providence ; And count not a man more evil, because he is more unfortunate; For the blessings of a better covenant lie not in the sunshine of prosperity, But pain and chastisement the rather show the wise Father's love.
Behold that daughter of the world; she is full of gaiety and gladness; The diadem of rank is on her brow, uncounted wealth is in her coffers: She tricketh out her beauty like Jezebel, and is welcome in the courts of
kings; She is queen of the fools of fashion, and ruleth the revels of luxury. And though she sitteth not as Tamar, nor standeth in the ways as Rahab, Yet in the secret of her chamber, she shrinketh not from dalliance and
guilt. She careth not if there be a God, or a soul, or a time of retribution, Pleasure is the idol of her heart: she thirsteth for no purer heaven.
And she laugheth with light good humour, and all men praise her gen
tleness; They are glad in her lovely smile, and the river of her bounty filleth
them. So she prospered in the world: the worship and desire of thousands; And she died even as she had lived, careless and courteous and liberal. The grave swallowed up
pomp, the marble proclaimed her virtues, For men esteemed her excellent, and charities sounded forth her praise; But elsewhere far other judgment setteth her—with infidels and harlots ! She abused the trust of her splendour: and the wages of her sin shall be
Look again on this fair girl, the orphan of a village pastor
loveth. And the villain hath wronged her trust, and mocked, and flung her from
him, And men point at her and laugh; and women hate her as an outcast: But elsewhere, far other judgment seateth her—among the martyrs ! And the Lord, who seemed to forsake, giveth double glory to the fallen
ONCE more, in the matter of wealth: if thou throw thine all on a chance, Men will come around thee, and wait, and watch the turning of the
And if, in the lottery of life, thou hast drawn a splendid prize,
Behold, the simple did sow, and hath reaped the right harvest of his folly And the world will be gladly accused, nor will reach out a finger to help; For why should this speculative dullard be a whirlpool to all around him? Go to, let him sink by himself: we knew what the end of it would be :For the man hath missed his mark, and his fellows look no further.
Also, toucking guilt and innocence: a man shall walk in his uprightness
tale; To that of unsuffering thousands, who look with complacence on his fall.
Or perchance the continual dropping of the venomed words of spite,
Till, in some weaker moment, tempted beyond endurance,
And though his guilt was grievous when he struck that heavy bitter blow, Yet light is the sin of the smiter, and verily kicketh the beam,
To the weight of that man's wickedness, whose slow relentless hatred
It is in vain, it is in vain, saith the preacher; there be none but the right
eous and the wicked, Base rebels, and staunch allies, the true knight, and the traitor; And he beareth strong witness among men, There is no neutral ground, The broad highway and narrow path map out the whole domain ; Sit here among the saints, these holy chosen few, Or grovel there a wretch condemned, to die among the million. And verily for ultimate results, there be but good and bad ; Heaven hath no dusky twilight; hell is not gladdened with a dawn. Yet looking round among his fellows, who can pass righteous judgment, Such an one is holy and accepted, and such an one reprobate and doomed? There is so much of good among the worst, so much of evil in the best, Such seeming partialities in providence, so many things to lessen and
expand, Yea, and with all man's boast, so little real freedom of his will,That, to look a little lower than the surface, garb or dialect or fashion, Thou shait feebly pronounce for a saint, and faintly condemn for a sinner Over many a heart good and true, fluttereth the Great King's pennant: By many an iron hand, the pirate’s black banner is unfurled : But there be many more besides, in the yacht and the trader and the fish