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sitting at the feet of Zeno in the shadow | written is merely a deliberate exercise, the of the Portico." On my expressing a nat- gymnastic of sentiment. For your excelural surprise, he added, smiling, Why, lent maternal relative is still alive, and is at such times the only view which honora- to take tea with me this evening, D. V. Beble members give me of what goes on in ware of simulated feeling; it is hypocrisy's the world is through their intercalumnia- first cousin; it is especially dangerous to tions." I smiled at this after a moment's a preacher; for he who says one day, 'Go reflection, and he added gravely, "The to, let me seem to be pathetic,' may be most punctilious refinement of manners is nearer than he thinks to saying, 'Go to, the only salt that will keep a democracy let me seem to be virtuous, or earnest, or from stinking; and what are we to expect under sorrow for sin.' Depend upon it, from the people, if their representatives Sappho loved her verses more sincerely than set them such lessons? Mr. Everett's she did Phaon, and Petrarch his sonnets whole life has been a sermon from this better than Laura, who was indeed but his text. There was, at least, this advantage poetical stalking-horse. After you shall in duelling, that it set a certain limit on have once heard that muffled rattle of the the tongue." In this connection, I may clods on the coffin-lid of an irreparable loss, be permitted to recall a playful remark of you will grow acquainted with a pathos his upon another occasion. The painful that will make all elegies hateful. When divisions in the First Parish, A. D. 1844, I was of your age, I also for a time mistook occasioned by the wild notions in respect my desire to write verses for an authentic to the rights of (what Mr. Wilbur, so far call of my nature in that direction. But as concerned the reasoning faculty, always one day as I was going forth for a walk, called) the unfairer part of creation, put with my head full of an Elegy on the forth by Miss Parthenia Almira Fitz, are Death of Flirtilla,' and vainly groping after too well known to need more than a pass- a rhyme for lily that should not be silly or ing allusion. It was during these heats, chilly, I saw my eldest boy Homer busy long since happily allayed, that Mr. Wil- over the rain-water hogshead, in that childbur remarked that "the Church had more ish experiment at parthenogenesis, the trouble in dealing with one sheresiarch changing a horse-hair into a water-snake. than with twenty heresiarchs," and that An immersion of six weeks showed no the men's conscia recti, or certainty of be- change in the obstinate filament. Here ing right, was nothing to the women's. was a stroke of unintended sarcasm. I not been doing in my study precisely what my boy was doing out of doors? Had my thoughts any more chance of coming to life by being submerged in rhyme than his hair by so...ing in water? [ burned my elegy and took a course of Edwards on the Will. People do not make poetry; it is made out of them by a process for which I do not find myself fitted. Nevertheless, the writing of verses is a good rhetorical exercitation, as teaching us what to shun most carefully in prose. For prose bewitched is like window-glass with bubbles in it, distorting what it should show with pellucid veracity.”

When I once asked his opinion of a poetical composition on which I had expended no little pains, he read it attentively, and then remarked, "Unless one's thought pack more neatly in verse than in prose, it is wiser to refrain. Commonplace gains nothing by being translated into rhyme, for it is something which no hocus-pocus can transubstantiate with the real presence of living thought. You entitle your piece, 'My Mother's Grave,' and expend four pages of useful paper in detailing your emotions there. But, my dear sir, watering does not improve the quality of ink, even though you should do it with tears. To publish a sorrow to Tom, Dick, and Harry is in some sort to advertise its unreality, for I have observed in my intercourse with the afflicted that the deepest grief instinctively hides its face with its hands and is silent. If your piece were printed, I have no doubt it would be popular, for people like to fancy that they feel much better than the trouble of feeling. I would put all poets on oath whether they have striven to say everything they possibly could think of, or to leave out all they could not help saying. In your own case, my worthy young friend, what you have


It is unwise to insist on doctrinal points as vital to religion. The Bread of Life is wholesome and sufficing in itself, but gulped down with these kick-shaws cooked up by theologians, it is apt to produce an indigestion, nay, even at last an incurable dyspepsia of scepticism.

One of the most inexcusable weaknesses of Americans is in signing their names to what are called credentials. But for my interposition, a person who shall be nameless would have taken from this town a recommendation for an office of trust sub

scribed by the selectmen and all the voters of both parties, ascribing to him as many good qualities as if it had been his tombstone. The excuse was that it would be well for the town to be rid of him, as it would erelong be obliged to maintain him. I would not refuse my name to modest merit, but I would be as cautious as in signing a bond. [I trust I shall be subjected to no imputation of unbecoming vanity, if I mention the fact that Mr. W. indorsed my own qualifications as teacher of the high-school at Pequash Junction. J. H.] When I see a certificate of character with everybody's name to it, I regard it as a letter of introduction from the Devil. Never give a man your name unless you are willing to trust him with your reputation.

There seem nowadays to be two sources of literary inspiration, fulness of mind and emptiness of pocket.

I am often struck, especially in reading Montaigne, with the obviousness and familiarity of a great writer's thoughts, and the freshness they gain because said by him. The truth is, we mix their greatness with all they say and give it our best at tention. Johannes Faber sic cogitavit, would be no enticing preface to a book, but an accredited name gives credit like the signature of a note of hand. It is the advantage of fame that it is always privileged to take the world by the button, and a thing is weightier for Shakespeare's uttering it by the whole amount of his personality.

It is singular how impatient men are with overpraise of others, how patient with overpraise of themselves; and yet the one does them no injury, while the other may be their ruin.

People are apt to confound mere alert ness of mind with attention. The one is but the flying abroad of all the faculties to the open doors and windows at every passing rumor; the other is the concentration of every one of them in a single focus, as in the alchemist over his alembic at the moment of expected projection. Attention is the stuff that memory is made of, and memory is accumulated genius.

Do not look for the Millennium as imminent. One generation is apt to get all the wear it can out of the cast clothes of the last, and is always sure to use up every paling of the old fence that will hold a nail in building the new.

You suspect a kind of vanity in my genealogical enthusiasm. Perhaps you are right; but it is a universal foible. Where it does not show itself in a personal and private way, it becomes public and gregarious. We flatter ourselves in the Pilgrim Fathers, and the Virginian offshoot of a transported convict swells with the fancy of a cavalier ancestry. Pride of birth, I have noticed, takes two forms. One complacently traces himself up to a coronet; another, defiantly, to a lapstone. The sentiment is precisely the same in both cases, only that one is the positive and the other the negative pole of it.

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Sence I begun to scribble rhyme,

I tell ye wut, I hain't ben foolin'; The parson's books, life, death, an' time Hev took some trouble with my schoolin';

Nor th' airth don't git put out with me, Thet love her 'z though she wuz a

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Where's Peace? I start, some clearblown night,

When gaunt stone walls grow numb
an' number,

An', creakin' 'cross the snow-crus' white,
Walk the col' starlight into summer;
Up grows the moon, an' swell by swell
Thru the pale pasturs silvers dimmer
Than the last smile thet strives to tell
O' love gone heavenward in its shim-


I hev ben gladder o' sech things

Than cocks o' spring or bees o' clover, They filled my heart with livin' springs, But now they seem to freeze 'em over; Sights innercent ez babes on knee,

Peaceful ez eyes o' pastur'd cattle, Jes' coz they be so, seem to me

To rile me more with thoughts o' battle.

In-doors an' out by spells I try; Ma'am Natur' keeps her spin-wheel goin',

But leaves my natur' stiff and dry

Ez fiel's o' clover arter mowin';
An' her jes' keepin' on the same,

An' findin' nary thing to blame,
Calmer 'n a clock, an' never carin',

Is wus than ef she took to swearin'.

Snow-flakes come whisperin' on the pane

The charm makes blazin' logs so pleasant,

But I can't hark to wut they 're say'n', With Grant or Sherman ollers pres


The chimbleys shudder in the gale,

Thet lulls, then suddin takes to flap-

Like a shot hawk, but all 's ez stale
To me ez so much sperit-rappin'.

Under the yaller-pines I house,

When sunshine makes 'em all sweetscented,

An' hear among their furry boughs The baskin west-wind purr contented,

While 'way o'erhead, ez sweet an' low

Ez distant bells thet ring for meetin', The wedged wil' geese their bugles blow,

Further an' further South retreatin'.

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