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are but dust. So did his soul then descend for the last time into the great tomb of the past, with painful longings to behold once more the dear faces of those he had loved; and the sweet breath of heaven touched them, and they would not stay, but crumbled away and perished as he gazed. They too were dust. And thus, far sounding he heard the great gate of the pasi shut behind him, as the divine poet did the gate of paradise when the angel pointed him the way up the holy mountain; and to him likewise was it forbidden to look back.
In the life of every man there are sudden transitions of feeling, which seem almost miraculous. At once, as if some magician had touched the heavens and the earth, the dark clouds melt into the air, the wind falls, and serenity succeeds the storm. The causes which produce these sudden changes may have been long at work within us; but the changes themselves are instantaneous and apparently without sufficient cause. It was so with Flemming; and from that hour forth he resolved that he would no longer veer with every shifting wind of circumstance; no longer be a child's plaything in the hands of Fate, which we ourselves do make or mar. He resolved henceforward not to lean on others, but to walk selfconfident and self-possessed; no longer to waste his years in vain regrets, nor wait the fulfilment of boundless hopes and indiscreet desires, but to live in the present wisely, alike forgetful of the past, and careless of what the mysterious future might bring. And from that moment he was calm and strong; he was reconciled with himself. His thoughts turned to his distant home beyond the sea. An indescribably sweet feeling rose within him.
“ Thither will I turn my wandering footsteps,” said he, “and be a man among men, and no longer a dreamer among shadows. Henceforth be mine a life of action and reality. I will work in my own sphere, nor wish it other than it is. This alone is health and happiness. This alone is life
*Life that shall send A challenge to its end, And when it comes, say, Welcome, friend'
CLIII. - THE CHILDREN OF THE POOR.
[CHARLES LAMB was born in London, February 17, 1775, and died December 27, 1834. He wrotu both in prose and verse; but his fame chiefly rests upon his essays contributed to the London Magazine, and the signature of " Elia.” These are distinguished by an exquisite vein of humor, by touches of gentle pathos, by the nicest observation, and a rare critical discernment. His life, which was full of pathetic interest and dignified by the joblest self-sacrifice, has been written with good taste and good feeling by the late Mr. Justice Talfourd, the author of Ion.
This passage is from a series of characteristic papers written by him against the truth of certain popular proverbs - the subject in the present instance being the sying, “Home is home, be it ever so homely.”]
The innocent prattle of his children takes out the sting of a man's poverty.
But the children of the very poor do not prattle. It is none of the least frightful features in that condition, that there is no childishness in its dwellings.
66 Poor people,” said a sensible old nurse to us once,“ do not bring up their children; they drag them up.” The little careless darling of the wealthier nursery, in their hovel, is transformed betimes into a premature, reflecting person. No one has time to dandle it, no one thinks it worth while to coax it, to soothe it, to toss it up and down, to humor it. There is none to kiss away its tears. If it cries, it can only be beaten. It has been prettily said that 6
a babe is fed with milk and praise.” But the aliment of this poor babe was thin, unnourishing; the return to its little baby tricks, and efforts to engage attention, bitter, ceaseless objurgation. It never had a toy, or knew what a coral meant. It grew up without the lullaby of nurses; it was a stranger to the patient fondle, the hushing caress, the attracting novelty, the costlier plaything or the cheaper off-hand contrivance to divert the child, the prattled nonsense, (best sense to it) the wise impertinences, the wholesome fictions, the apt story interposed, that puts a stop to present sufferings, and awakens the passions of young wonder. It was never sung to; no on: ever told to it a tale of the nursery. It was dragged up, to live or to die as it happened. It had young
dreams, It broke at once into the iron realities of life. A child exists
not for the very poor as any object of dalliance; it is only another mouth to be fed, a pair of little hands to be betimes inured to labor. It is the rival, till it can be the coöperator, for food with the parent. It is never his mirth, his diversion, his solace; it never makes him young again, with recalling his young times. The children of the very poor have no young times. It makes the very heart to bleed to overhear the casual street talk between a poor woman and her little girl, a woman of the better sort of poor, in a condition rather above the squalid beings which we have been contemplating. It is not of toys, of nursery books, of summer holidays, (fitting that age,) of the promised sight or play, of praised sufficiency at school. It is of mangling and clear-starching, of the price of coals, or of potatoes. The questions of the child, that should be the very outpourings of curiosity in idleness, are marked with forecast and melancholy providence. It has come to be
-before it was a child. It has iearned to go io market; it chaffers, it haggles, it envies, it murmurs; it se knowing, acute, sharpened; it never prattles. Had we not reason to say, that the home of the very poor is no home?
CLIV. - HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE, IN THE VALLEY OF
[SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE was born at Ottery St. Mary, in Devonshire, England, October 21, 1772, and died December 27, 1834. He was one of the most remarkable men of his time; and few writers have exerted a wider and deeper intellectual influence than he. His influence, too, is most felt by minds of the highest class. He was an original and imaginative poet, a profound and suggestive philosophical writer, and a critic of unrivalled excellence. His works are somewhat fragmentary in their charac ter, for he wanted patience in intellectual construction; but they are the fragments of a noble edifice. In conversational eloquence he is said to have excelled all his contemporaries.
Coleridge's life was not in all respects what the admirers of his genius could have wished. His great defect was a want of will. He could see the right, but not alwa! go to it; he could see the wrong, but not always go from it.]
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
On thy bald, awful head, O sovereign Blanc !
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
Awake, my soull not only passive praise
Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in eat ih?
And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad !
Ye ice falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost !