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7. But why suppose the earth only to have this attractive power ? This led to the conclusion that all bodies have it in proportion to their bulk; and if all bodies on this earth have it, then why not also the heavenly bodies — the sun, moon and stars? This idea, reflected upon, and submitted to mathematical investigation, resulted in the theory of gravitation.
8. Another anecdote illustrates his self-command. He had been laboring for many years on very abstruse calculations relating to a particular branch of inquiry; and one day, returning to his study, he found that his favorite dog, Diamond, had overturned a lighted candle, which had set fire to his papers and completely destroyed them. He only said, “O Diamond, Diamond ! little do you know the mischief you have done!”
9. Another anecdote illustrates his modesty. A short time before his death he remarked, “I know not what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebbie or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
XII.-LIFE COMPARED TO A RIVER.
1. The life of every individual may be compared to a river, rising in obscurity, increasing by the accession of tributary streams, and, after flowing through a longer or shorter distance, losing itself in some common receptacle.
2. The lives of individuals also, like the course of rivers, may be more or less extensive, but will all vanish and disappear in the gulf of eternity.
3. While a stream is confined within its banks, it fertilizes, enriches, and improves the country through which it passes ; but if it deserts its channel, it becomes injurious and destructive — a sort of public nuisance; and, by stagnating in lakes and marshes, its exhalations diffuse pestilence and disease around.
4. Some glide away in obscurity and insignificance, while others become accelerated, traverse continents, give names to countries, and assign the boundaries of empires. Some are tranquil and gentle in their course, while others, rushing in torrents, dashing over precipices, and tumbling in water-falls, become objects of terror and dismay.
5. But however diversified their character or their direction, all agree in having their course short, limited and determined. Soon they fall into one capacious receptacle: their waters eventually mix in the waves of the ocean.
6. Thus human characters, however various, have one common destiny. Their course of action may be greatly diversified, but they all lose themselves in the ocean of eternity.
XIII.—THE SHIP ON FIRE.
1. There was joy in the ship as she furrowed the foam,
For fond hearts within her were dreaming of home.
2. “O, happy!” said he, “when our roaming is o'er,
We'll dwell in a cottage that stands by the shore !
Already in fancy its roof I descry,
3. Hark! hark! what was that! Hark hark to the
shout “Fire! fire!”— then a tramp and a rush and a
routAnd an uproar of voices arose in the air, And the mother knelt down, and the half-spoken
prayer That she offered to God in her agony wild Was “Father, have mercy ! look down on my child!” She flew to her husband, she clung to his side; 0, there was her refuge whatever betide!
4. Fire! fire! it is raging above and below;
And the smoke and hot cinders all blindingly blow.
5. They prayed for the light, and at noontide, about,
The sun o'er the waters shone joyously out.
They see us! they see us! the signal is waved ! They bear down upon us ! — Thank God! we are saved!”
XIV.- OLD THINGS.
1. Give me the old songs, those exquisite bursts of melody which thrilled the lyres of the inspired poets and minstrels of long ago. Every note has borne on the air a tale of joy and rapture- of sorrow and sadness! They tell of days gone by, and time hath given them a voice which speaks to us of those who once breathed these melodies - of what they now are, and what we soon shall be.
2. My heart loves those melodies; may they be mine to hear till life shall end, and as I “launch my boat” upon the sea of eternity, may their echoes be wafted to my ear, to cheer me on my passage from the scenes of earth and earthland!
3. Give me the old paths, where we have wandered and culled the flowers of love and friendship, in the days of “ Auld Lang Syne;” sweeter, far, the dells whose echoes have answered to our voices; whose turf is not a stranger to our footsteps, and whose rills have in childhood's days reflected back our forms, and those of our merry playfellows, from whom we have been parted, and meet no more in the old nooks we loved so well.
4. May the old paths be watered with heaven's own dew, and be green forever in my memory! Give me the old house, upon whose stairs we seem to hear light footsteps, and under whose porch a merry laugh seems to mingle with the winds that whistle through old trees, beneath whose branches lie the graves of those who once trod the halls and made the chambers ring with glee.
5. Above all, give me the old friends - hearts bound to mine in life's sunshiny hours, and a link so strong that all the storms of earth might not break it asunder spirits congenial, whose hearts through life have throbbed
in unison with our own! When death shall still this heart, I would not ask for aught more sacred to hallow my dust than the tear of an old friend.
1. How blessed, how beautiful is the rain! whether it falls gently from heaven like the still, small voice of God, or comes dashing and dancing in wild glee down upon the thirsty earth, which drinks it gratefully, and pours out in return its beauty and abundance.
2. There can not live a soul so sordid as to wish the heavens to pour down even gold, instead of the balmy, liquid blessings of the clouds.' God forbid the exchange. The heavens shower better than coined gold upon the parched earth.
3. From the vast ewer of his never-failing bounty, the Father of Mercies sends us fruit, and grain, and flowers, which will, all over the land, coin into the plenty that gives nourishment, and life, and joy to millions.
4. Such is the gold that best fills the purse of the country — gold glinting in buttercups and roses, down in the valley meadows, and shimmering on all the hillsides.
5. Out on these covetous mortals, who would have the heavens shed mint drops instead of rains and dews. Let such delve in the dirt and darkness of the mine; slaves to the ignoble desire that refuses to accept the bounties of nature and nature's God, as better than any human coinage or device.
The great mind seizes the idea in the fact; while the small mind seizes the fact alone: one grows; the other fills.