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exclaimed, 'The enemy are marching upon our western coun ties!'-The aged soldier of the cross announced the text: 'He who hath a garment, let him sell it and buy a sword.'After a few preliminary and patriotic remarks, he added, in substance, as follows, 'Go up, my friends, I beseech you, to the help of your neighbors against the mighty. Advance into the field of battle, for God will muster the hosts to war.
Religion is too much interested in the success of this day, not to lend you her influence. As for myself, age sits heavily upon me, and I cannot go with you-neither have I any representatives of my family to send. My daughters, (pointing at the same time to the pew where sat his aged consort and his two maiden daughters, the only remnants of his family) cannot draw the sword nor handle the musket, in defence of their country-but they can do somethingthey can use the rake and the hoe-so that the toil-worn soldier, when he returns from the field of battle, may not suffer for the want of the necessaries of life.'
The venerable pastor bowed his head in devotion, and in prayer gave further flow to his deep emotions. When he again looked round, his audience were gone. One by one they had silently left the house of God, and ere the sun had that day set, the male inhabitants of the little parish, who were able to bear arms, were far on their way to meet the enemies of their country on the field of Bennington.
Heroism of a Physician.-MAD. DE GENLIS.
THE plague raged violently in Marseilles. Every link of affection was broken, the father turned from the child, the child from the father: ingratitude no longer excited indignation. Misery is at its height when it thus destroys every generous feeling, thus dissolves every tie of humanity! The city became a desert, grass grew in the streets, a funeral met you at every step.
The physicians assembled in a body at the Hotel de Ville, to hold a consultation on the fearful disease, for which no remedy had yet been discovered. After a long deliberation, they decided unanimously that the malady had a peculiar and mysterious character, which opening a corpse alone
might develope,—an operation it was impossible to attempt, since the operator must infallibly become a victim in a few hours, beyond the power of human art to save him, as the violence of the attack would preclude their administering the customary remedies.
A dead pause succeeded this fatal declaration. Suddenly a surgeon named Guyon, in the prime of life, and of great celebrity in his profession, rose and said firmly, Be it so: I devote myself for the safety of my country. Before this numerous assembly I swear, in the name of humanity and religion, that to-morrow, at the break of day, I will dissect a corpse, and write down as I proceed what I observe.' He left the assembly instantly. They admire him, lament his fate, and doubt whether he will persist in his design.
The intrepid and pious Guyon, animated by all the sublime energy religion can inspire, acted up to his words. He had never married, he was rich, and he immediately made a will, dictated by justice and piety; he confessed, and in the middle of the night received the sacraments. A man had died of the plague in his house within four and twenty hours: Guyon, at daybreak, shut himself up in the same room; he took with him an inkstand, paper, and a little crucifix.
Full of enthusiasm, never had he felt more firm or more collected: kneeling before the corpse, he wrote, 'Mouldering remains of an immortal soul, not only can I gaze on thee with horror, but even with joy and gratitude. Thou wilt open to me the gates of a glorious eternity. In discovering to me the secret cause of the terrible disease which destroys my native city, thou wilt enable me to point out some salutary remedy-thou wilt render my sacrifice useful. Oh God! thou wilt bless the action thou hast thyself inspired.'
He began,-he finished the dreadful operation, and recorded in detail his surgical observations. He then left the room, threw the papers into a vase of vinegar, and afterwards sought the lazaretto, where he died in twelve hours a death ten thousand times more glorious than the warrior's, who to save his country rushes on the enemy's ranks, since he advances, with hope, at least, sustained, admired, and seconded by a whole army.
Stop a Moment.-ANONYMOUS.
I HAVE lived long in the world-I have enjoyed opportunities for observation and reflection. I have by turns adopted various systems, but long experience has reduced all my philosophy to the simple precept, Stop a Moment!
If we knew when to stop, we should be rendered happy by sentiment, instead of being tormented by passion.— Through not knowing when to stop, courage changes to temerity, severity to tyranny, economy to avarice, generosity to profusion, love to jealousy, piety to fanaticism, liberty to licentiousness, royalty to despotism, submission to baseness, and eulogium to flattery. Empires fall like men, because they wish to advance too far and too rapidly; nobody either wishes or knows how to stop.
The kings of Persia would not be stopped by the sea, and the boundaries of their vast dominions; they dashed against the little cities of Greece, the warlike inhabitants of which overthrew their throne.
How many Eastern monarchs, unable to endure the thought of having their will stopped by a law, have been enslaved and assassinated by their slaves, whilst their fate has excited no sympathy beyond the walls of their palaces! Alexander, whom no conquest could satisfy, yielded at Babylon, and perished in the flower of his age, because reason could not stop him in his career of dissipation.
The Greeks, not knowing where to stop either in their passion for liberty, or their vain desire for dominion, became divided against each other, made foreigners interfere in their disputes, and degenerated into servitude.
In vain did Cato exclaim to the Romans, Stop! They ran in quest of worldly riches, which undermined their power, corrupted their manners, destroyed their liberty, and first delivered them to the mercy of tyrants and then to barbarians.
In modern times what follies and crimes have been committed for want of knowing when to stop! What piles have been rekindled because piety has been unable to repress fanaticism! What massacres have ensued, because the nobility refused to respect either the royal prerogative or the rights of the people!
What misfortunes might not Charles XII. have avoided had he known how to check himself; he would not have fled at Pultowa, had he stopped at Narva.
There is no good quality which does not become a fault when carried too far; all good when exaggerated is converted into evil; the fairest cause, that of Heaven itself, dishonors its supporters, when unable to curb their zeal, they burn instead of instructing the incredulous.
Believe me, there is no virtue more profitable, no wisdom more useful than moderation. To ameliorate mankind, the best lesson that can be given to them is, Stop a Moment! Instead of paying masters to teach young people dancing, riding, and walking, to teach how to stop would contribute much more to their happiness.
But those who love glory must not suppose I am giving them timid counsel; the most powerful man and most celebrated hero of fable, far from dashing inconsiderately on an unknown and stormy Ocean, knew how to check himself, and engraved on his column the words, Ne plus ultra.
Funeral at Sea.-ANONYMOUS.
THE sun had just risen, and not a cloud appeared to obstruct his rays. A light breeze played on the bosom of the slumbering ocean. The stillness of the morning was only disturbed by the ripple of the water, or the diving of a flying-fish. It seemed as if the calm and noiseless spirit of the deep was brooding over the waters.
The national flag displayed half way down the royal-mast, played in the breeze, unconscious of its solemn import. The vessel glided in stately serenity, and seemed tranquil as the element on whose surface she moved. She knew not the sorrows that were in her own bosom, and seemed to look down on the briny expanse beneath her, in all the confidence and security of strength.
To the minds of her brave crew, it was a morning of gloom. They had been boarded by the angel of death; and the forecastle now contained all that was mortal of his victim. His soul had gone to its final audit. Grouped around the windlass, and, left to their own reflections, the
hardy sons of the ocean mingled their sympathies with each other. They seemed to think of their own immortality. Conscience was at his post. And I believe that their minds were somewhat impressed with the realities of eternity.
They spoke of the virtues of their deceased messmate— of his honesty, his sensibility, his generosity. One remembered to have seen him share the last dollar of his hardearned wages with a distressed shipmate. All could attest his liberality. They spoke too of his accomplishments as a sailor; of the nerve of his arm, and the intrepidity of his soul. They had seen him in an hour of peril, when the winds of heaven were let loose in all their fury, and destruction was on the wing, seize the helm and hold the ship securely within his grasp, till the danger had passed by.
They would have indulged longer in their reveries, but they were summoned to prepare for the rites of sepulture, and pay the last honors to their dead companion. The work of preparation was commenced with heavy hearts and with many a sigh. A rude coffin was soon constructed, and the body deposited within it. All was ready for the final scene. The main hatches were his bier. A spare sail was his pall. His surviving comrades in their tarstained habiliments stood around.
All were silent. The freshening breeze moaned through the cordage. The main topsail was hove to the mast. The ship paused on her course, and stood still. The funeral service began; and as 'we commit this body to the deep' was pronounced, I heard the knell of the ship bell-I heard the plunge of the coffin. I saw tears start from the eyes of the generous tars. My soul melted within me as I reverted to the home-scenes of him whom we buried in the deep-to hopes that were to be dashed with wo-to joys that were to be drowned in lamentation.
Sailor's Funeral.-MRS. SIGOURNEY.
THE ship's bell tolled! and slowly o'er the deck Came forth the summoned crew. Bold, hardy men Far from their native skies, stood silent there