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what they do, as by the motives that impel them to action." These, we may see at a glance, may be most diverse and opposite in their character. They may be either high or low, selfish or nobly disinterested. Some of the greatest workers in the world are, as to their motives, the most despicable. They are working for themselves, and their work is therefore marred by the spirit which prompts it.
The great Napoleon was one of the hardest workers the world ever but his motive was self-love-the most inglorious of human passions. True, the deeds of such men are not lost to the world, for "there is a Divinity that shapes our ends," whether we are seeking our own good or the good of others; and, consequently, even vicious and selfish men are compelled to contribute to the common weal. The effect, however, upon ourselves, depends entirely upon the motive which actuates us. Thus, other men performing, it may be, the lowliest of offices, are, if faithful in the discharge of their duty, ennobling both themselves and mankind. They are doing "imperishable work."
George Herbert says, in his quaint way—
"Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,
which exactly expresses the same sentiment.
Work is infinite in its variety and kind, and we need not attempt to define its relative importance too nicely. As before said, the test of its value is its intrinsic quality. An honest shoemaker or seamstress may be doing better work than a statesman or bishop, or it may be much worse. Social standing has nothing to do with its value. It is not necessary to be always doing some great thing, in order to work well. The quiet housewife, or homely artisan, whilst performing their modest work, are in reality doing more for the world than if they left their proper sphere to turn missionary or preacher. The old saying, "Let the cobbler stick to his last," is based upon sound wisdom, for it is certain that a man, no matter what his calling, can best serve his fellow-men by conscientiously carrying on the work which he best understands.
It is not, however, even necessary to be engaged in any defined form of work. As a rule, it is doubtless best to have regular occupation, but there are thousands, amongst our female population, whose duties consist in the numberless small things of household work, and which, in the eyes of the superficial observer, count for nought. These quiet, gentle workers are nevertheless amongst the most useful, especi
ally when to the practical spirit of Martha they add the loving spirit of Mary. Nor need they retire into "sisterhoods," nor dress in puritanic garb, to perform holy work. The truest, sweetest sisterhood is in the home circle, shedding an atmosphere of love and grace on all who come within its influence.
On what then should all work be based? On the love of use; in other words, on the desire to do good, and not on mere hope of reward.
True, "the workman is worthy of his meat," and we must, of course, receive for our labour an equivalent sufficient for our daily needs. But this is a natural consequence of all honest work. We may not always receive the reward in the degree or form which our natural instincts desire, but in the long run we shall obtain sufficient for every temporal, as well as spiritual, requirement.
Our chief motive in all we do should be not payment, but use; the first is based on self-love, the second on love of God and the neighbour. When once the world has learnt this lesson, idleness will become a disgrace, and we shall cease to look upon work as servile or as drudgery. It will no longer be thought a grand thing to be a man of leisure, much less to have nothing to do, and a great step will have been taken towards the permanent regeneration of our race. F. A.
THE OLIVE (Olea Europea. Nat. Ord. Oleaceæ.)
WHEN of good average proportions, and not yet falling into decrepitude, the complexion of the olive-tree is mild and graceful, and not unlike that of the common English white willow, Salix alba, only that the numerous branches are more rigid, and that the hue of the foliage is darker, whence the dusty look of an olive-tree, which always seems as if in want of rain. The olive has the advantage, however, over the willow, in being evergreen. The leaves are lanceolate, though subject to some diversity in outline, two or three inches long, leathery, smooth, hoary on the under surface, shortly petiolate, and produced, as in other oleaceous plants, in pairs. The flowers are small, creamy-white, four-lobed, much resembling those of
privet, and clustered in little erect and axillary racemes, which are shorter than the leaves. They appear to be particularly liable to early fall, especially if blown on by the wind, as noticed in the celebrated comparison in Job, when speaking of the unjust man, "His branch shall not be green . . . he shall cast off his flower as the olive" (xv. 32). The dropping of the bloom causes the crop of ripe fruit to bear but a small proportion to the promise; the produce is nevertheless prodigious, though, unless special care be taken, heavy only in the alternate years. Ripened, the olive is the size of a damascene, generally globular, sometimes oval; usually violet-purple, but varying to greenish, and even to black. The external fleshy portion is filled with oil; inside there is a large hard stone, which contains little or none of this secretion-a remarkable circumstance, since, excepting in the olive, the cashew-nut, certain Lauraceæ, and a very few others, the oil of oleiparous plants is always contained in the seed, and not, as in these, in the pericarp.
A degenerate form of the plant is commonly called the wild olive. It is only a bush; the branches are spinous; and the leaves are broad and short. This seems to have been intended, in part at least, by the ancient names φιλύρα and κότινος, as well as by ἄγριέλαια and oleaster, but the particular application of all of these names, which were probably indefinite, even with those who employed them, it is impossible to fix.
That the olive attains an immense age has already been stated. Whether the trees in the supposed garden of Gethsemane are of absolutely original growth, or reproductions from the stumps of anterior ones, in the way commemorated of the olive by Virgil,
Quin et caudicibus sectis, mirabile dictu,
is a question to stand over. Pending the solution, we may look at some olives at Terni, in the vale of the cascade of Marmora, which are believed to be survivors of the very grove mentioned by Pliny. The protracted existence is accompanied, as in other longævals, by extreme slowness of growth, and this in turn induces considerable hardness and closeness of grain in the wood, which is greenish yellow, of the texture of box, though softer, beautifully clouded and curlyveined, and capable of taking a fine gloss when polished. The wood of the root is even finer than that of the stem. It serves excellently for cabinet work and artists' palettes. The ancients resorted to it for
"Nay, what is wondrous to relate, even after her trunk is cut in pieces, the olive-tree shoots forth roots from the dry wood.”—Georgic ii. 30, 31.
statuettes. The wild olive seems to have been valued for clubs.1
The value of olive-oil to the inhabitants of the countries in which nature produces it freely, is to ourselves, in England, inconceivable. It is a constant addendum to food; it fulfils, in a score of different ways, the requirements alike of domestic economy and of medicine. Light for the dwelling, improvement of personal appearance, everything that concerns physical comfort, is more or less contributed to by this seemingly trifling substance. "He causeth grass to grow for the cattle, . . . and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine" (Ps. civ. 14, 15). "Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" (xxiii. 5). "There is oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spendeth it up" (Prov. xxi. 20). With the Hebrews olive-oil stood on a par with corn and wine. The cultivation of the tree was identified with the whole of their domestic
1 Vide Theophrastus iii. 3; Theocritus vii. 18, and xxv. 205 and 257.
life and industry; the vast private consumption of it is shown in the mention of the quantity provided by Solomon for Hiram's wood-cutters when engaging their services in the building of the Temple, "And behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, 20,000 measures of beaten wheat, and 20,000 measures of barley, and 20,000 baths of wine, and 20,000 baths of oil." In portraitures of the old Hebrew country, olive-gardens always appear as a matter of course, conjointly with the vineyard and the corn-field, as in the history of Samson and the Philistines. Rulers and monarchs seem to have held them as personal property, just as modern ones hold private estates and country houses.3
No wonder that in Scripture the olive is so frequently cited, or that it should stand therein as an emblem of the happiest spiritual realities. In the Hebrew it is uniformly called sait, zait, or zaith, and the oil is shemen, whence Gethsemane, or the oil-press. In the Greek of the New Testament, the corresponding terms are éλaía and ëλacov, and with these are etymologically identical the Latin olea and oleum, whence the French huile, and our own oil, so that oil primarily denotes the produce purely of the olive-tree; and it is only to avoid confusion that we are constrained to use the tautology of olive-oil. Oliva and olive are the same original word, with the addition or retention of the ancient Æolic digamma, as in vλn and silva. The scriptural allusions to the tree and its fruit are about thirty-five in number, and those to olive-oil nearly one hundred, five-sixths of the whole occurring in the Old Testament. Besides these, there are about one hundred allusions to the symbolical practice of anointing.
The first mention occurs in the sweet old verse already quoted from Genesis, when the dove came back to the ark, bearing the oliveleaf plucked off. The narrative of the Deluge can scarcely be said to throw any light upon the history of the tree, considered as an object of botanical nature; the more particularly so as the Mosaic record, if accepted as literal in every particular, is a cluster of insoluble problems. How eight respiring human beings, and a crowd of living and breathing quadrupeds and birds, with creeping things of all descriptions, existed for many weeks in a chamber of three floors, ventilated by only one door and one window, the door in the bottom story and the window in the top one; how the boundless diversity of food indispensable to the various sustenance of all these creatures, including the peculiar diet of the Insectivora, was supplied them for so long a time; what became of the vast mass of waters when all was
1 2 Chron. ii. 10. 2 Judges xviii. 5.
Compare Ezra iii. 7, and 1 Kings v. 11.
Vide 1 Chron. xxvii. 28.