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His tongue was framed to music,
THERE is not yet any inventory of a man's faculties, any more than a bible of his opinions. Who shall set a limit to the influence of a human being? There are men, who, by their sympathetic attractions, carry nations with them, and lead the activity of the human race. And if there be such a tie, that, wherever the mind of man goes, nature will accompany him, perhaps there are men whose magnetisms are of that force to draw material and elemental powers, and, where they appear, immense instrumentalities organize around them. Life is a search after
Life is a search after power; and this is an element with which the world is so saturated, — there is no chink or crevice in which it is not lodged, — that no honest seeking goes unrewarded. A man should prize events and possessions as the ore in which this fine mineral is found; and he can well afford to let events and possessions, and the breath of the body go, if their value has been added to him in the shape of power. If he have secured the elixir, he can spare the wide gardens from which it was distilled. A cultivated man, wise to know and bold to perform, is the end to which nature works, and the education of the will is the flowering and result of all this geology and astronomy.
All successful men have agreed in one thing, they were causationists. They believed that things went not by luck, but by law; that there was not a weak or a cracked link in the chain that joins the first and last of things. A belief in causality, or strict connection between every trifle and the principle of being, and, in consequence, belief in compensation, or, that nothing is got for nothing, characterizes all valuable minds, and must control every effort that is made by an industrious one. The most valiant men are the best believers in the tension of the laws. “All the great captains," said Bonaparte,“ have performed vast achievements by conforming with the rules of the art, — by adjusting efforts to obstacles.”
The key to the age may be this, or that, or the other, as the young orators describe; — the key to all ages is -- Imbecility; imbecility in the vast majority of men, at all times, and, even in heroes, in all but certain 'eminent moments; victims of gravity, custom, and fear. This gives force to the strong, that the multitude have no habit of self-reliance or original action.
We must reckon success a constitutional trait. Courage, the old physicians taught, (and their meaning holds, if their physiology is a little mythical,) courage, or the degree of life, is as the degree of circulation of the blood in the arteries. “During passion, anger, fury, trials of strength, wrestling, fighting, a large amount of blood is col
lected in the arteries, the maintenance of bodily | strength requiring it, and but little is sent into the 7
veins. This condition is constant with intrepid persons." Where the arteries hold their blood, is courage and adventure possible. Where they pour it unrestrained into the veins, the spirit is low and feeble.
For performance of great mark, it needs extraordinary health. If Eric is in robust health, and has slept well, and is at the top of his condition, and thirty years old, at his departure from Greenland, he will steer west, and his ships will reach Newfoundland. But take out Eric, and put in a stronger and bolder man, — Biorn, or Thorfin, — and the ships will, with just as much ease, sail six hundred, one thousand, fifteen hundred miles further, and reach Labrador and New England. There is no chance in results. With adults, as with children, one class enter cordially into the game, and whirl with the whirling world; the others have cold hands, and remain bystanders; or are only dragged in by the humor and vivacity of those who can carry a dead weight. The first wealth is health. Sickness is poor-spirited, and cannot serve any one: it must husband its resources to live. But health or fulness answers its own ends, and has to spare, runs over, and inundates the neighborhoods and creeks of other men's necessities.
All power is of one kind, a sharing of the nature of the world. The mind that is parallel with the laws of nature will be in the current of events, and strong with their strength. One man is made of the same stuff of which events are made; is in sympathy with the course of things; can predict it. Whatever befalls, befalls him first; so that he is equal to whatever shall happen. A man who knows men, can talk well on politics, trade, law, war, religion. For, everywhere, men are led in the same manners.
The advantage of a strong pulse is not to be supplied by any labor, art, or concert. It is like the climate, which easily fears a crop, which no glass, or irrigation, or tillage, or manures, can elsewhere rival. It is like the opportunity of a city like New York, or Constantinople, which needs no diplomacy to force
11 blond,) then quite easily and without envy or resist
capital or genius or labor to it. They come of themd
selves, as the waters flow to it. So a broad, healthy, massive understanding seems to lie on the shore of unseen rivers, of unseen oceans, which are covered with barks, that, night and day, are drifted to this point. That is poured into its lap, which other men lie plotting for. It is in everybody's secret; antici
pates everybody's discovery; and if it do not comI mand every fact of the genius and the scholar, it is I because it is large and sluggish, and does not think them worth the exertion which you do.
This affirmative force is in one, and is not in another, as one horse has the spring in him, and another
in the whip. “On the neck of the young man,” said 1
Hafiz, “sparkles no gem so gracious as enterprise.
Import into any stationary district, as into an old u Dutch population in New York or Pennsylvania, or
among the planters of Virginia, a colony of hardy Yankees, with seething brains, heads full of steam
hammer, pulley, crank, and toothed wheel, — and ats
everything begins to shine with values. What en
hancement to all the water and land in England, is er the arrival of James Watt or Brunel! In every com
pany, there is not only the active and passive sex, but, in both men and women, a deeper and more impor
tant sex of mind, namely, the inventive or creative te class of both men and women, and the uninventive or
accepting class. Each plus man represents his set, and, if he have the accidental advantage of personal ascendency, — which implies neither more nor less of talent, but merely the temperamental or taming eye of a soldier or a schoolmaster, (which one has, and one has not, as one has a black moustache and one a
ance, all his coadjutors and feeders will admit his fetit right to absorb them. The merchant works by book
keeper and cashier; the lawyer's authorities are hunted up by clerks; the geologist reports the surveys of his subalterns; Commander Wilkes appropriates the results of all the naturalists attached to the Expedition; Thorwaldsen's statue is finished by stone-cutters; Dumas has journeymen; and Shakspeare was theatre-manager, and used the labor of many young men, as well as the playbooks.
There is always room for a man of force, and he makes room for many. Society is a troop of thinkers, and the best heads among them take the best places. A feeble man can see the farms that are fenced and tilled, the houses that are built. The strong man sees the possible houses and farms. His eye makes estates, as fast as the sun breeds clouds.
When a new boy comes into school, when a man travels, and encounters strangers every day, or, when into any old club a new comer is domesticated, that happens which befalls, when a strange ox is driven into a pen or pasture where cattle are kept; there is at once a trial of strength between the best pair of horns and the new comer, and it is settled thenceforth which is the leader. So now, there is a measuring of strength, very courteous, but decisive, and an acquiescence thenceforward when these two meet. Each reads his fate in the other's eyes. The weaker party finds, that none of his information or wit quite fits the occasion. He thought he knew this or that: he finds that he omitted to learn the end of it. Nothing that he knows will quite hit the mark, whilst all the rival's arrows are good, and well thrown. But if he knew all the facts in the encyclopædia, it would not help him: for this is an affair of presence of mind, of attitude, of aplomb: the opponent has the sun and wind, and, in every cast, the choice of weapon and mark; and, when he himself is matched with some