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And the light in her eye, and the light on the wheels,
That marched so calmly round above her, Was a little dimmed,—as when evening steals
Upon noon's hot face:—yet one couldn't but love her, For she looked like a mother whose first babe lay Rocked on her breast, as she swung all day; And she seemed in the same silver tone to say, "Passing away! passing away!"
While yet I looked, what a change there came!
Her eye was quenched, and her cheek was wan:
Yet just as busily swung she on;
"Passing away! passing away!"
THE PROGRESS OF HUMANITY.—Charles Sumner.
Let us, then, be of good cheer. From the great law of progress we may derive at once our duties and our encouragements. Humanity has ever advanced, urged by the instincts and necessities implanted by God,—thwarted sometimes by obstacles which have caused it for a time—a moment only, in the immensity of ages—to deviate from its true line, or to seem to retreat,—but still ever onward.
Amidst the disappointments which may attend individual exertions, amidst the universal agitations which now surround us, let us recognize this law, confident that whatever is just, whatever is humane, whatever is good, whatever is true, according to an immutable ordinance of Providence, in the golden light of the future, must prevail. With this faith, let us place our hands, as those of little children, in the great hand of God. He will ever guide and sustain us— through pains and perils, it may be—in the path of progress.
In the recognition of this law, there are motives to beneficent activity, which shall endure to the last syllable of life. Let the young embrace it: they shall find in it an everliving spring. Let the old cherish it still: they shall derive from it fresh encouragement. It shall give to all, both old and young, a new appreciation of their existence, a new sentiment of their force, a new revelation of their destiny.
Be it, then, our duty and our encouragement to live and to labor, ever mindful of the future. But let us not forget the past. All ages have lived and labored for us. From one has come art, from another jurisprudence, from another the compass, from another the printing-press; from all have proceeded priceless lessons of truth and virtue. The earliest and most distant times are not without a present influence on our daily lives. The mighty stream of progress, though fed by many tributary waters and hidden springs, derives something of its force from the earlier currents which leap and sparkle in the distant mountain recesses, over precipices, among rapids, and beneath the shade of the primeval forest.
Nor should we be too impatient to witness the fulfilment of our aspirations. The daily increasing rapidity of discovery and improvement, and the daily multiplying efforts of beneficence, in later years outstripping the imaginations of the most sanguine, furnish well-grounded assurance that the advance of man will be with a constantly accelerating speed. The extending intercourse among the nations of the earth, and among all the children of the human family, gives new promises of the complete diffusion of truth, penetrating the most distant places, chasing away the darkness of night, and exposing the hideous forms of slavery, of war, of wrong, which must be hated as soon as they are clearly seen.
Cultivate, then, a just moderation. Learn to reconcile order with change, stability with progress. This is a wise conservatism; this is a wise reform. Rightly understanding these terms, who would not be a conservative? who would not be a reformer?—a conservative of all that is good, a reformer of all that is evil; a conservative of knowledge, a reformer of ignorance; a conservative of truths and principles whose seat is the bosom of God, a reformer of laws and institutions which are but the wicked or imperfect work of man; a conservative of that divine order which is found only in movement, a reformer of those earthly wrongs and abuses which spring from a violation of the great law of human progress. Blending these two characters in one, let us seek to be, at the same time, Reforming Conservatives, 4XD Conservative Reformers.
Two Yankees, from Connecticut,
A style now out of date;
It wasn't strange or funny,
So, coming to a thriving place,
They hired a lofty hall,
Put handbills, great and small,
In printed black and white,
In the great town-hall that night.
Of course the people thought to see
A show of figures grand,—
And great men of our land;—
And monks in black and white,
In "wax work" brought to light.
One of the Yankees had, they say,
Why he was going South;
He couldn't speak quite plain,
And sometimes talked—in vain.
The other was a handsome man,
Quite pleasant, and quite fine; He had a form of finest mould,
And straight as any pine. Indeed, he was a handsome man
As you will often see, Much more so than you,—or you,—or you,—
But like President Grant,—or me.
This handsome man stood at the door
To let the people in,
And the shillings was a sin:
He a curtain pulled aside,
Stood in all his pomp and pride.
And in his brawny hand he held
A pound or two, or more, Of shoemaker's trax, which he
Had some time made before. He began to work it,
And his audience thus addressed, And the people looked and listened;—
Let their great surprise be guessed!
Said he, " My friends, how some folks cheat
I never could conceive;
For I stoop not to deceive:
For your quarters and your twelves;— Ladies and gentlemen, jiif<t walk up
And examine for yourselves I"
But when the people saw the joke,
With anger they turned pale,
To ride him on a rail;
And a ladder to the ground, 4.nd just as he went out of sight,
He turned himself around,
And, holding up the wax to view,
Said, with a saucy grin, "My friends here's no deception,
For I scorn to take you in;
This is real wax work,
For your quarters and your twelves ;—
And examine for yourselves."
QUARREL OF BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.—Shakspeare.
* Cassius—That you have wronged me doth appear in this:
Brutus—You wronged yourself to write in such a case.
Cassius—In such a time as this, it is not meet
Brutus—Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Cassius—I an itching palm?
Brutus—The name of Cassius honors this corruption,
Brutus—Remember March, the Ides of March remember!
Cassius—Brutus, bay not me.
Brutus—Go to; you are not, Cassius.
Brutus—I say you are not.