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more might have been made. It may pearance in man or woman becomes exhere be said that probably there is hardly cessive. It does so unquestionably when an influence which tends so powerfully it engrosses the mind to the neglect of to produce extreme self-complacency as more important things. But I suppose the conviction, that, as regards some one that all reasonable people now believe physical accomplishment, one is a per- that scrupulous attention to personal son of whom more could not have been cleanliness, freshness, and neatness is a made. It is a proud thing to think that Christian duty. The days are past, alyou stand decidedly ahead of all man- most everywhere, in which piety was held kind: that Eclipse is first, and the rest to be associated with dirt. Nobody would nowhere; even in the matter of keeping mention now, as a proof how saintly a up six balls at once, or of noting and re- human being was, that, for the love of membering twenty different objects in a God, he had never washed his face or shop-window as you walk past it at five brushed his hair for thirty years.
And miles an hour. I do not think I ever be- even scrupulous neatness need bring with held a human being whose aspect was of it no suspicion of puppyism. The most such unutterable pride as a man I lately trim and tidy of old men was good John saw playing the drum as one of a cer- Wesley; and he conveyed to the minds tain splendid military band. He was of all who saw him the notion of a man playing in a piece in which the drum whose treasure was laid up beyond this music was very conspicuous; and even world, quite as much as if he had dressed an unskilled observer could remark that in such a fashion as to make himself an his playing was absolute perfection. He object of ridicule, or as if he had forhad the thorough mastery of his instru- sworn the use of soap.
Some people ment. He did the most difficult things fancy that slovenliness of attire indicates not only with admirable precision, but a mind above petty details. I have seen without the least appearance of effort. an eminent preacher ascend the pulpit He was a great, tall fellow: and it was with his bands hanging over his right really a fine sight to see him standing shoulder, his gown apparently put on by very upright, and immovable save as to being dropped upon him from the vestry his arms, looking fixedly into distance, ceiling, and his hair apparently unbrushand his bosom swelling with the lofty be- ed for several weeks. There was no suslief, that, out of four or five thousand per- picion of affectation about that good man; sons who were present, there was not one yet I regarded his untidiness as a defect, who, to save his life, could have done and not as an excellence. He gave a what he was doing so easily.
most eloquent sermon ; yet I thought it So much of physical dexterity. As would have been well, had the lofty mind for physical grace, it will be admitted that treated so admirably some of the that in that respect more might be made grandest realities of life and of immorof most human beings. It is not merely tality been able to address itself a little that they are ugly and awkward natural- to the care of lesser things. I confess, ly, but that they are ugly and awkward that, when I heard the Bishop of Oxford artificially. Sir Bulwer Lytton, in his preach, I thought the effect of his sermon earlier writings, was accustomed to main- was increased by the decorous and caretain, that, just as it is a man's duty to cul- ful fashion in which he was arrayed in tivate his mental powers, so is it his duty his robes. And it is to be admitted that to cultivate his bodily appearance. And the grace of the human aspect may be in doubtless all the gifts of Nature are tal- no small measure enhanced by bestowents committed to us to be improved; ing a little pains upon it. You, youthful they are things intrusted to us to make matron, when you take your little chilthe best of. It may be difficult to fix the dren to have their photographs taken, point at which the care of personal ap- and when their nurse, in contemplation of that event, attired them in their most every-day fustian! Here you would see tasteful dresses and arranged their hair a young fellow with a coat whose huge in its prettiest curls, you know that the collar covered half his head when you little things looked a great deal better looked at him from behind; a very comthan they do on common days. It is mon thing was to have sleeves which pure nonsense to say that beauty when entirely concealed the hands ; and the unadorned is adorned the most. For wrinkled and baggy aspect of the whole that is as much as to say that a pretty suits could be imagined only by such as young woman, in the matter of physical have seen them. It may be remarked appearance, is a person of whom no more here, that those strong country lads were can be made. Now taste and skill can in another respect people of whom more. make more of almost anything. And might have been physically made. Oh you will set down Thomson's lines as for a drill-sergeant to teach them to stand flatly opposed to fact, when your lively upright, and to turn out their toes, and young cousin walks into your room to let to get rid of that slouching, hulking gait you see her before she goes out to an which gives such a look of clumsiness evening party, and when you compare and stupidity! If you could but have that radiant vision, in her robes of misty the well-developed muscles and the fresh texture, and with hair arranged in folds complexion of the country with the the most complicated, wreathed, and sat- smartness and alertness of the town! in-shoed, with the homely figure that took You have there the rough material of a walk with you that afternoon, russet- which a vast deal may be made ; you gowned, tartan - plaided, and shod with have the water-worn pebble which will serviceable boots for tramping through take on a beautiful polish. Take from country mud. One does not think of the moorland cottage the shepherd lad loveliness in the case of men, because of sixteen ; send him to a Scotch college they have not got any; but their aspect, for four years ; let him be tutor in a good such as it is, is mainly made by their family for a year or two; and if he be tailors. And it is a lamentable thought, an observant fellow, you will find in him how very ill the clothes of most men are the quiet, self-possessed air and the easy made. I think that the art of draping address of the gentleman who has seen the male human body has been brought the world. And it is curious to see one to much less excellence by the mass of brother of a family thus educated and those who practise it than any other of polished into refinement, while the other the useful and ornamental arts. Tailors, three or four, remaining in their father's even in great cities, are generally ex- simple lot, retain its rough manners and tremely bad. Or it may be that the pro- its unsophisticated feelings. Well, look viding the human frame with decent and at the man who has been made a gentlewell-fitting garments is so very difficult a man, — probably by the hard labor and thing that (save by a great genius here sore self-denial of the others, -and see in and there) it can be no more than approx- him what each of the others might have imated to. As for tailors in little country been! Look with respect on the diavillages, their power of distorting and mond which needed only to be polishdisfiguring is wonderful. When I used ed! Reverence the undeveloped potento be a country clergyman, I remember tial which circumstances have held down! how, when I went to the funeral of some Look with interest on these people of simple rustic, I was filled with surprise to whom more might have been made ! see the tall, strapping, fine young country Such a sight as this sometimes sets us lads, arrayed in their black suits. What thinking how many germs of excellence awkward figures they looked in those un- are in this world turned to no account. wonted garments! How different from You see the polished diamond and the their easy, natural appearance in their rough one side by side. It is too late
now; but the dull colorless pebble might built their St. Peters, - and perhaps a have been the bright glancing gem. And Shakspeare who held horses at the theayou may polish the material diamond at tre-door for pence, as the Shakspeare we any time; but if you miss your season in know of did, and who stopped there. the case of the human one, the loss can Let it here be suggested, that it is highnever be repaired. The bumpkin who is ly illogical to conclude that you are youra bumpkin at thirty must remain a bump- self a person of whom a great deal more kin to threescore and ten. But another might have been made, merely because thing that makes us think how many fair you are a person of whom it is the fact possibilities are lost is to remark the for- that very little has actually been made. tuitous way in which great things have This suggestion may appear a truism ; but often been done, -- and done by people it is one of those simple truths of which who never dreamt that they had in them we all need to be occasionally reminded. the power to do anything particular. After all, the great test of what a man These cases, one cannot but think, are can do must be what a man does. But samples of millions more. There have there are folk who live on the reputation been very popular writers who were of being pebbles capable of receiving a brought out by mere accident. They very high polish, though from circumdid not know what precious vein of stances they did not choose to be polishthought they had at command, till they ed. There are people who stand high stumbled upon it as if by chance, like the in general estimation on the ground of Indian at the mines of Potosi. It is not what they might have done, if they had much that we know of Shakspeare, but liked. You will find students who took it seems certain that it was in patching no honors at the university, but who enup old plays for acting that he discover- deavor to impress their friends with the ed within himself a capacity for produ- notion, that, if they had chosen, they could cing that which men will not easily let have attained to unexampled eminence. die. When a young military man, dis- And sometimes, no doubt, there are great heartened with the service, sought for an powers that run to waste. There have appointment as an Irish Commissioner of been men whose doings, splendid as they Excise, and was sadly disappointed be- were, were no more than a hint of how cause he did not get it, it is probable that much more they could have done. In he had as little idea as any one else had such a case as that of Coleridge, you see that he possessed that aptitude for the how the lack of steady industry and of conduct of war which was to make him all sense of responsibility abated the tanthe Duke of Wellington. And when a gible result of the noble intellect God young mathematician, entirely devoid of
gave him. But as a general rule, and in ambition, desired to settle quietly down the case of ordinary people, you need not and devote all his life to that unexciting give a man credit for the possession of any study, he was not aware that he was a powers beyond those which he has acperson of whom more was to be made, tually exhibited. If a boy is at the bot— who was to grow into the great Em- tom of his class, it is probably because he peror Napoleon. I had other instances could not attain its top. My friend Mr. in my mind, but after these last it is need- Snarling thinks he can write much betless to mention them. But such cases ter articles than those which appear in suggest to us that there may have been the “ Atlantic Monthly”; but as he has many Folletts who never held a brief, not done so, I am not inclined to give many Keans who never acted but in him credit for the achievement. But you barns, many Vandyks who never earned can see that this principle of estimating more than sixpence a day, many Gold- people's abilities, not by what they have smiths who never were better than pen- done, but by what they think they could ny-a-liners, many Michaels who never do, will be much approved by persons
who are stupid and at the same time pebble got nearly all the polishing it conceited. It is a pleasing arrangement, would stand, — the man nearly all the that every man should fix his own mental chances he could improve. mark, and hold by his estimate of himself. If there be soundness and justice in And then, never measuring his strength this suggestion, it may afford consolation with others, he can suppose that he could to a considerable class of men and womhave beat them, if he had tried.
en: I mean those people who, feeling with
in themselves many defects of character, Yes, we are all mainly fashioned by and discerning in their outward lot much circumstances; and had the circumstan which they would wish other than it is, ces been more propitious, they might are ready to think that some one thing have made a great deal more of us. You would have put them right, - that some sometimes think, middle-aged man, who one thing would put them right even yet, never have passed the limits of Britain, - but something which they have hopewhat an effect might have been produced lessly missed, something which can never upon your views and character by for be. There was just one testing event eign travel. You think what an indefi which stood between them and their benite expansion of mind it might have ing made a vast deal more of. They caused, - how many narrow prejudices would have been far better and far hapit might have rubbed away, — how much pier, they think, had some single malign wiser and better a man it might have influence been kept away which has darkmade you. Or more society and wider ened all their life, or had some single reading in your early youth might have blessing been given which would have improved you, — might have taken away made it happy. If you had got such a the shyness and the intrusive individual- parish, which you did not get, - if ity which you sometimes feel painfully, had married such a woman,-if your little - might have called out one cannot say child had not died, --if you had always the what of greater confidence and larger society and sympathy of such an energetic sympathy. How very little, you think and hopeful friend,-if the scenery round to yourself, you have seen and known! your dwelling were of a different characWhile others skim great libraries, you ter,- if the neighboring town were four read the same few books over and over; miles off, instead of fifteen, - if any one while others come to know many lands of these circumstances had been altered, and cities, and the faces and ways of what a different man you might have many men, you look, year after year, on been! Probably many people, even of the same few square miles of this world, middle age, conscious that the manifold and you have to form your notion of hu cares and worries of life forbid that it man nature from the study of but few hu should be evenly joyous, do yet cherish man beings, and these very commonplace. at the bottom of their heart some vague, Perhaps it is as well. It is not so cer yet rooted fancy, that, if but one thing tain that more would have been made of were given on which they have set their you, if you had enjoyed what might seem hearts, or one care removed forever, they greater advantages. Perhaps you learn would be perfectly happy, even here. ed more, by studying the little field before Perhaps you overrate the effect which you earnestly and long, than you would would have been produced on your charhave learned, if you had bestowed a cur acter by such a single cause. It might sory glance upon fields more extensive not have made you much better; it might by far. Perhaps there was compensation not even have made you very different. for the fewness of the cases you had to And assuredly you are wrong in fancyobserve in the keenness with which you ing that any such single thing could have were able to observe them. Perhaps the made you happy, - that is, entirely hapGreat Disposer saw that in your case the py. Nothing in this world could ever
you that. It is not God's purposely pure and happy soul! I thought of that we should be entirely happy here. this, on a beautiful evening of this sum" This is not our rest.” The day will mer, walking with a much valued friend never come which will not bring its wor- through a certain grand ducal domain. ry. And the possibility of terrible mis- In front of a noble sepulchre, where is fortune and sorrow hangs over all. There laid up much aristocratic dust, there are is but One Place where we shall be right; sculptured, by some great artist, three coand that is far away.
lossal faces, which are meant to represent
Life, Death, and Immortality. It was Yes, more might have been made of easy to represent Death: the face was one all of us; probably, in the case of most, of solemn rest, with closed eyes; and the not much more will be made in this world. sculptor's skill was mainly shown in disWe are now, if we have reached middle tinguishing Life from Immortality. And life, very much what we shall be to the he had done it well. There was Life: a end of the chapter. We shall not, in this care-worn, anxious, weary face, that seemworld, be much better; let us humbly ed to look at you earnestly, and with a trust that we shall not be worse.
vague inquiry for something, - the somethere be an undefinable sadness in look- thing that is lacking in all things here. ing at the marred material of which so And there was Immortality : life-like, but, much more might have been made, there oh, how different from mortal Life! There is a sublime hopefulness in the contem was the beautiful face, calm, satisfied, selfplation of material, bodily and mental, possessed, sublime, and with eyes looking of which a great deal more and better far away. I see it yet, the crimson sunwill certainly yet be made. Not much set warming the gray stone,- and a great more may be made of any of us in life; hawthorn-tree, covered with blossoms, but who shall estimate what may be standing by. Yes, there was Immortalmade of us in immortality? Think of ity; and you felt, as you looked at it, a “spiritual body”! think of a perfect- that it was MORE MADE OF LIFE!
MY FRIEND'S LIBRARY.
That exquisite writer, Horæ Subse- He had done no other mischief whatcivæ Brown, quotes, (without comment) ever." as a motto to one of his volumes, an an Spare your wit, Sir, or Madam! Why ecdote from Pierce Egan, which I repro- should you laugh, and apply the sting in duce here:
Mr. Egan's story to the case of “ Yours “ A lady, resident in Devonshire, go Truly ” ? ing into one of her parlors, discovered a young ass, who had found its way into I scarcely know a greater pleasure the room, and carefully closed the door than to be allowed for a whole day to
He had evidently not spend the hours unmolested in my friend's been long in this situation before he had library. So much privilege abounds nibbled a part of Cicero's Orations, and there, I call it Urbanily Hall. It is eaten nearly all the index of a folio edi a plain, modestly appointed apartment, tion of Seneca in Latin, a large part overlooking a broad sheet of water; and of a volume of La Bruyère's “Maxims' I can see, from where I like to sit and in French, and several pages of Cecilia.' read, the sail-boats go tilting by, and