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The tissue of the life to be

We weave with colors all our own,

And in the field of destiny

We reap as we have sown.


Men at some times are masters of their fates; The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.


Every one is the son of his own works. -CERVANTES.

He that would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry out the wealth of the Indies. - OLD ADAGE.

A vase is begun; why, as the wheel goes round, does it turn out a pitcher ?-HORACE.

All looks yellow to the jaundiced eye. -POPE.

"Let's find the sunny side of men,

Or be believers in it

A light there is in every soul

That takes the pains to win it.

Oh I there's a slumbering good in all,

And we perchance may wake it ;

Our hands contain the magic wand:

This life is what we make it."

“ THERE is dew in one flower and not in another," said Beecher, "because one opens its cup and takes it in, while the other closes itself and the drop runs off."

Are you dissatisfied with today's success ? It is the harvest from yesterday's sowing. Do you dream of a golden morrow? You will reap what you are sowing today. We get out of life just what we put into it. The world has for us just what we have for it. It is a mirror which reflects the faces we make. If we smile and are glad, it reflects a cheerful, sunny face. If we


From the same materials one builds palaces and another hovels; one rears a stately edifice, while his brother, vacillating and incompetent, lives forever amid ruins."
are sour, irritable, mean, and contemptible, it still shows us a true copy of ourselves. The world is a whispering. gallery which returns the echo of our own voices. What we say of others is said of us. We shall find nothing in the world which we do not first find in ourselves.

It rests with the workman whether a rude piece of marble shall be squared into a horse-block, or carved into an Apollo, a Psyche, or a Venus de Milo. It is yours, if you choose, to develop a spiritual form more beautiful than any of these, instinct with immortal life, refulgent with all the glory of character.

About the middle of the eighteenth century a lighthouse, called Dunston Pillar, was built on Lincoln Heath to guide travelers over a trackless, barren waste, a veritable desert, almost in the heart of England. But now it. stands in the midst of a fertile region. No barren heath has been visible, even from its top, for more than a generation. Super-phosphate of lime has effected this magic transformation. Many a barren, useless life has been made fruitful by the inspiration of a high ideal. Improvement hardly less radical is possible even in the best of lives. Apply the super-phosphate of lofty purpose and your useless life will blossom like the rose.

Somehow we seem to have an innate conviction that, although we are free, yet there is a kind of fatality within us which hedges us about, limits our liberty, places bounds to our possibilities, and gives direction to our action. But freedom is also a part of fate, and what seems like inexorable destiny is but natural limitation. Knowledge, energy, push, annul fate. The broader we become, the more freedom we have. We are given all the liberty we can use. Fate recedes as knowledge advances. Only he who determines to rise superior to what is commonly meant by destiny will ever achieve great success.

"I saw a delicate flower had grown up two feet high," said Thoreau, "between the horse's path and the wheel track. An inch more to the right or left had sealed its fate, or an inch higher ; and yet it lived to flourish as much as if it had a thousand acres of untrodden space around it, and never knew the danger it incurred. It did not borrow trouble, nor invite an evil fate by apprehe nding it."

" I resolved that, like the sun, so long as my day lasted, I would look on the bright side of everything," said Hood.

"There is always a black spot in our sunshine," says Carlyle; "it is the shadow of ourselves." Get out of your own light.

Our minds are given us but our characters we make. The lie never told for want of courage, the licentiousness never indulged in for fear of public rebuke, the irreverence of the heart, are just as effectual in staining the character as though the world knew all about them. A good character is a precious thing, above rubies, gold, crowns, or kingdoms, and the work of making it is the, noblest on earth.

" I live in a constant endeavor to fence against the infirmities of ill health and other evils by mirth," said Sterile; "I am persuaded that every time a man smiles - but much more so when he laughs - it adds something to his fragment of life."

" This pemmican is the finest flavored pemmican I have ever seen," said one of a crew in search of John Franklin, when they were reduced to starvation diet. Take life like a man. Take it just as though it was - as it is - an earnest, vital, essential affair. Take it just as though you personally were born to the task of performing a merry part in it-as though the world had waited for your coming. Take it as though it were a grand opportunity to do and to achieve, to carry forward great and good schemes.

A gay, serene spirit is the source of all that is noble and good," said Schiller. "Whatever is accomplished of the greatest and the noblest sort flows from such a disposition. Petty, gloomy souls that only mourn the past and dread the future are not capable of seizing on the holiest moments of life." "What luck that it was not my arms!" exclaimed a soldier when both legs were shot away at Chancellorsville.

" Painful ? " asked the young women in surprise, when asked in the fairy tale if it was not a terrible experience to pass through the magical mill at Apolda. "Oh, no ! On the other hand, it is quite delightful! It is just like waking in the morning after a good night's test, to see the sun shining in your room, and to hear the trees rustling, and the birds twittering in the branches." No wonder, then, that old women were anxious to be thrown in at the top, wrinkled and bent, without hair or teeth, if they could come out below young and pretty, with cheeks as rosy as an apple.

"I want to become young again," said an old woman one day to a servant who sat smoking near the mill. And, pray," said the man, "what is your name ?" " The children call me Mother Redcap," was the answer ; “I was very happy in my youth, and I wish above all things to be young again." " Sit down, then, on this bench, Mother Redcap; " and the man went into the mill, and opening a thick book, returned with a long strip of paper.

“Is that the bill ?" asked the old woman. Oh, no! " replied the man, " we charge nothing here; only 'you must sign your name to the paper." And why should I do that?" The servant smiled as he answered: "This paper is only a list of all the follies you have ever committed. It is complete, even to the present hour. Before you can become young again, you must pledge yourself to commit them all over again in the very same order as before. To be. sure, there is quite a long list. From the time you were sixteen until you were thirty, there was at least one folly every day, and on Sunday there were two; then you improved a little until you were forty; but after that the follies have, been plenty enough, I assure you!"

" I know that what you say is all true," said the old woman, sighing ; "and I hardly think it will repay one to become young again at such a price." "Neither do I think so," said the man,; " very few, indeed, could it ever repay. So we have an easy time of it- seven days of rest every week! The mill is always still, at least of late years."

"Now, couldn't we strike out just a few things ? " pleaded the old lady, with a tap on the man's shoulder. "Suppose we leave off about a dozen things that I remember with sorrow. I wouldn't mind doing all the rest." " No, no ! " said the servant, . “ we are not allowed to leave off anything; the rule is, all or none ! " " Very well, then," said she, turning away, “ I shall have nothing to do with your old mill."

“ Why, Mother Redcap, you come back older than you went! " exclaimed her neighbors when she returned to her distant home. " We never thought there was any truth in the story about that mill." "What does it matter about being young again ? " asked the old woman, coughing a little, dry cough; " if one will try to make it so, old age may be as beautiful as youth'! "

At the gateway of life each soul finds as it were a block of purest marble (time), a chisel and mallet (ability and opportunity), placed at his disposal by an unseen messenger. What shall he do with the marble ? He may chisel out an angel or a devil; he may rear a palace or- a hovel. One shapes his marble into a statue which enchants the world or sculptures it into frozen music. Another chisels his into disgusting forms which shall demoralize man in all time and poison every beholder.

"In the same family and under the same circumstances one rears a stately edifice, while his brother, vacillating and incompetent, lives forever amid ruins." From the same materials he may fashion vessels of honor or dishonor. We find what we are looking for. The geologist sees design and order in the very pavement-stones. The botanist reads volumes in the flowers and grasses which most men tread thoughtlessly beneath their feet. The astronomer gazes with rapt soul into the starry depths, while his fellows seldom glance upward.

Nature takes on our moods; she laughs with those who laugh and weeps with those who weep. If we rejoice and are glad the very birds sing more sweetly, the woods and streams murmur our song. But if we are sad and sorrowful a sudden gloom falls upon Nature's face; the sun shines, but not in our hearts, the birds sing, but not to us. The music of the spheres is pitched in a minor key.

If I trust, I am trusted; if I suspect, I am suspected; if I love, I am loved; if I hate, I am despised. Every man is a magnet and attracts to himself kindred spirits and principles until he is surrounded by a world all his own, good or bad like himself ; so all the bodily organs and functions are tied together in closest sympathy. If one laughs, all rejoice; if one suffers, all the others suffer with it.

The future will be just what we make it. Our pure pose will give it its character. One's resolution is one's prophecy. There is no bright hope, no bright outlook for the man who has no great inspiration. A man is just what his resolution is. Tell us his purpose and there is the interpretation of him, of his manhood. There, too, is the revelation of his destiny. Leave all your discouraging pessimism behind. Do not prophesy evil, but good. Have the purpose within you to bring along better times, and better times will come. Men who hope large things are public benefactors. Men of hope to the front.

" Well, Robert, where have you been walking this afternoon ? ", asked Mr. Andrews of one of his pupils at the close of a holiday. “Oh, I have been to Brown Heath, and round by Camp Mount, and home through the meadows. But it was very dull. I hardly saw a single person. I would much rather have gone by the turnpike road."

" Well, where have you been ?" asked the teacher of another pupil who came in while Robert was talking. "Oh, sir," replied Master William, "I never had such a pleasant walk before in my life. I found a curious plant (mistletoe) which grows right out from the bark of an oak-tree just as well as if its roots were deep in the ground. I saw a woodpecker, and a large wheat-ear, and gathered some beautiful flowers in the meadows. I followed a strange bird because I thought its wing was broken, but it led me into a bog, where I got very wet, and then it flew off with no sign of a broken wing. Perhaps it only meant to get me away from its nest. But I don't mind my wetting, because I met an old man burning charcoal near the bog, who told me all about his business, and gave me a pretty little dead snake. Then I went to the top of the high hill, and saw all the country spread out below me like a map. Next, because the hill is called Camp Mount, I looked for the ruins of the old camp, and found them; and then I went down to the river, and to twenty other places, and so on and so forth, till I have brought home curiosities enough, and thoughts enough, to last me a week."

Mr. Andrews told him all about his curiosities; and, when he learned that William who had seen so much had gone over the same ground as Robert, who saw nothing at all, he said: "So it is. One man walks through the world with his eyes open, another with his eyes shut. I have known sailors who had been in all quarters of the world, and could tell you of nothing but the signs of the tippling-houses and the price of the liquor that was- sold there. While many a silly; thoughtless youth is whirled through Europe without gaining a single idea, the observing eye and inquiring mind find matter for improvement and delight in every ramble. You, then, William, continue to use your eyes. And you, Robert, learn that eyes were given to you for use."

Each of these young men had created his own little world.

"'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus," says Iago. “Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills."

Whipple says that each man's levity, bigotry, ignorance, vice, or littleness erects a wall of adamant between himself and whatever is profound, comprehensive, wise, good, or great.

It has been well said that from the same materials one man builds palaces, another hovels; one warehouses, another villas; bricks and mortar are mortar and bricks until the architect makes them something else. The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the resolute. The difficulties which dishearten one man only stiffen the sinews of another, who looks on them as a sort of mental spring-board by which to vault across the gulf of failure on so the sure, solid ground of full success.

In every human ear, according, to Corti, is a harp of 8,700 strings, varying in length from one five-hundredth to one two-hundredth of an inch. If a well-tuned violin be held near a piano, when the E string is struck the B string of the violin will vibrate in unison, and give forth a distinct tone of the same pitch. Other strings evoke their corresponding tones. In like manner the 8,700 strings of the human harp have such a wide compass that any appreciable sound finds its corresponding tone-string, and the sound is conveyed through the auditory nerve to the brain.

Our souls are harps strung to finer harmony, their compass varying according to the wholeness or halfness of our lives, the greater or less degree of our culture. The world is full of melody. Every atom, touched by unseen fingers, is vibrant with sweetest music, yet there is only now and then a soul sensitive enough to catch the finer strains. Rarely a poet or philosopher reads the "books in the running brooks, sermons in stones," or sees "God in everything." Only now and then an Agassiz, from a single track in the old red sandstone or a single fossil bone, can reconstruct a whole skeleton reinvesting with flesh and reanimating with life an animal whose very species has been extinct for centuries. There is only now and then a Hugh Miller who can trace the footprints of the Creator down. through the ages, and read the records of the past imprinted in the rocks. But rarer, far rarer than these, are they who can catch responsively the higher music of sentient being, with its joys and hopes ; of earnest, aspiring, struggling souls, tolerant, serious, yet sunny; of the glorious diapason of the fullness of the compassion and love of God.

Some people, like the bee, seem to gather honey from every flower; while others, like the spider, carry only poison away. One person finds happiness everywhere and in every occasion, carrying his own holiday, with him. Another always appears to be returning from a
funeral. One sees beauty and harmony wherever he looks, his very tears affording him visions of resplendent rainbows as the sunbeams of Hope fall upon him. Another is blind to beauty; the lenses of his eyes seem to be smoked glass, draping the whole world in mourning.

Though all have eyes, all do not see, yet all eyes are constructed exactly alike. The same beautiful light impinges upon all retinas,, but how different the images presented! While one man sees only gravel, fodder, and firewood upon Boston Common, another is ravished with its beauty. One sees in a. matchless rose nothing but rose-water for sore eyes; another penetrates its purpose, and reads in the beauty of its blended colors and its wonderful, fragrance the thoughts of God. The rose becomes a lens through which he gazes into the very heart of the Creator.

"My body must walk the earth," said an ancient poet, " but I can put wings on my soul, and plumes to my hardest thought."

If we would get the most out of life, we must learn not merely to look but to see. The sun is not partial to the rainbow and the rose; he scatters his beauty everywhere - the only defect is in our vision.

" Though our character is formed by circumstances," said John Stuart Mill, "our own desires can do much to shape those circumstances; and what is really inspiriting and ennobling in the doctrine of free will is the conviction that we have real power over the formation of our own character; our will, by influencing some of our circumstances, being able to modify our future habits or capacities of willing."

As we may look without seeing and listen without hearing, so we may work without accomplishing anything. Michael Angelo was once commanded by his prince to mould a beautiful statue of snow-an illustrious example of the fact that it is not necessary to be idle in order to throw away time. That statue, though instinct with ideal beauty stamped upon it by an immortal hand, melted, and every trace of the sculptor's greatness was washed away. Oh, what precious hours we have all wasted, writing in oblivion's book! Wasted ? worse than wasted, for the knowledge that we were working uselessly tended to beget a habit of aimless and careless work. Who has not worked for annihilation, painting in colors that fade, carving in stone that crumbles ? Who has not built upon the sand, and written upon the water ?

What we are to be really, we are now potentially. As the future oak lies folded in the acorn, so in the present lies our future. Our success will be, can be, but a natural tree, developed from the seeds of our own sowing : the fragrance of its blossoms and the richness of its fruitage will depend upon the nourishment absorbed from our past and present.

Ruskin tells us that the earth we tread beneath our feet is composed of clay and sand and soot and water; and he tells us that, if nature has her perfect work (in these things), the clay will become porcelain, and may be painted upon and placed in the king's palace; then; again, it may become clear and hard and white, and have the power of drawing to itself the blue and the red, the green and the purple rays of the sunlight, and become an opal. The sand will become very hard and white, and have the power of drawing to itself the blue rays of the sunlight, and become a sapphire. The soot will become the hardest and whitest substance known, and be changed into a diamond.

The water in the summer is a dewdrop, and in the winter crystallizes into a star. Even so the homeliest lives, by drawing to themselves the coloring of truth, sincerity, charity, and faith, may become crystals and gems "'of purest ray serene."

"Our acts our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."

All are architects of fate, Working in these walls of time; Some with massive deeds and great, Some with ornaments of rhyme; For the structure that we raise, Time is with materials filled; Our todays and yesterdays Are the blocks with which we build.



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