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No more that meek and suppliant look in prayer,
THE COMMON LOT.
ONCE in the flight of ages past,
There lived a man: and who was he?
That man resembled thee.
Unknown the region of his birth,
The land in which he died unknown;
This truth survives alone :-
Alternate triumphed in his breast;
Oblivion hides the rest.
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits' rise and fall;
For these are felt by all.
Enjoyed, -but his delights are fled;
And foes,—his foes are dead.
Hath lost in its unconscious womb :
The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main;
To him exist in vain.
He saw-whatever thou hast seen;
Encountered-all that troubles thee:
He is,—what thou shalt be.
The clouds and sunbeams o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
No vestige where they flew.
Their ruins, since the world began,
Than this—THERE LIVED A MAN!
SORROW FOR THE DEAD.
The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal—every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open--this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns ? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved ; when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal ;
who would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delight; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection; when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved,
is softened away into pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness—who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom; yet who would exchange it, even for a song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead, to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave !--the grave ! It buries every error-covers every defect-extinguishes every resentment. From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can look down upon the grave, even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him ?
But the grave of those we loved—what a place for meditation! There it is that we call up, in long review, the whole history of virtue and gentleness, and the thousand endearments, lavished upon us--almost unheeded—in the daily intercourse of intimacy; there it is that we dwell upon the tenderness—the solemn, awful tenderness—of the parting scene. The bed of death, with all its stifled griefs—its noiseless attendance its mute, watchful assiduities. The last testimonies of expiring love! The feeble, fluttering, thrilling-oh, how thrilling !--pressure of the hand. The last fond look of the glazing eye, turning upon us, even from the threshold of existence ! The faint, faltering accents, struggling in death to give one more assurance of affection!
Ay! go to the grave of buried love and meditate! There settle the account with thy conscience for every past benefit unrequited-every past endearment unregarded—of that departed being, who can never-never -never return to be soothed by thy contrition !--If thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul, or a furrow to the silvered brow, of an affectionate parent–if thou art a husband, and hast ever caused the fond bosom that ventured its whole happiness in thy arms, to doubt one moment of thy kindness or thy truth,—if thou art a friend, and hast ever wronged, in thought, or word, or deed, the spirit that generously confided in thee, -if thou art a lover, and hast ever given one unmerited pang to that true heart which now lies cold and still beneath thy feet;—then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back upon thy memory, and knocking dolefully at thy soul; then be sure that thou wilt lie down, sorrowing and repentant, on the grave, and utter the unheard groan, and pour the unavailing tear-more deep, more bitter, because unheard and unavailing !
Then weave thy chaplet of flowers, and strew the beauties of nature about the grave; console thy broken spirit, if thou canst, with these tender, yet futile tributes of regret : but, take warning by the bitterness of this thy contrite affliction over the dead, and henceforth be more faithful and affectionate in the discharge of thy duties to the living.
THE WAY TO WEALTH.
DR. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.
COURTEOUS READER,— I have heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by others. Judge, then, how much I must have been gratified by an incident I am going to relate
to you. I stopped my horse, lately, where a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchant's goods. The hour of the sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean old man, with white locks, “Pray, father Abraham, what think you of the times ?
Will not those heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to ?” Father Abraham stood up, and replied, “If you
would have my advice I will give it you in short: ‘for a word to the wise is enough,' as Poor Richard says." They joined in desiring him to speak his mind, and, gathering round him, he proceeded as follows:
“Friends,” says he, “the taxes are, indeed, very heavy, and if those laid on by the Government were the only ones we had
pay we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us; "God helps them that help themselves,' as Poor Richard says.
“I. It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more; sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright, as Poor Richard says—'But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of,' as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that the sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as Poor Richard says.
* If time be of all things the most precious, wasting