It is a very indiscreet and troublesome ambition which cares so much about fame; about what the world says of us; to be always looking in the faces of others for approval; to be always anxious about the effect of what we do or say; to be always shouting, to hear the echoes of our own voices.
The setting of a great hope is like the setting of the sun. The brightness of our life is gone, shadows of the evening fall around us, and the world seems but a dim reflection itself,a broader shadow. We look forward into the coming lonely night: the soul withdraws itself. Then stars arise, and the night is holy.
Oh, how beautiful it is to love! Even thou that sneerest and laughest in cold indifference or scorn if others are near thee,thou, too, must acknowledge its truth when thou art alone, and confess that a foolish world is prone to laugh in public at what in private it reveres as one of the highest impulses of our nature; namely, love.
Oh, there is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of lovethe first fluttering of its silken wingsthe first rising sound and breath of that wind which is so soon to sweep through the soul, to purify or to destroy!
Why have I been born with all these warm affections, these ardent longings after good, if they lead only to sorrow and disappointment? I would love some onelove him once, and foreverdevote myself to him alonelive for himdie for himexist alone in him! But, alas! in all this wide world there is none to love me as I would be lovednone whom I may love as I am capable of loving! How empty, how desolate seems the world about me! Why has Heaven given me these affections only to fall and fade?
Even He that died for us upon the cross, in the last hour, in the unutterable agony of death, was mindful of His mother, as if to teach us that this holy love should he our last worldly thought,the last point of earth from which the soul should take its flight for heaven.
Simplicity is the character of the spring of life, costliness becomes its autumn; but a neatness and purity, like that of the snowdrop or lily of the valley, is the peculiar fascination of beauty, to which it lends enchantment, and gives a charm even to a plain person, being to the body what amiability is to the mind . In character, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.
Every man has a Paradise around him till he sins, and the angel of an accusing conscience drives him from his Eden. And even then there are holy hours, when this angel sleeps, and man comes back, and with the innocent eyes of a child looks into his lost Paradise again,into the broad gates and rural solitudes of nature.
There is something exceedingly thrilling in the voices of children singing. Though their music be unskilful, yet it finds its way to the heart with wonderful alacrity. Voices of cherubs are they, for they breathe of Paradise; clear, liquid tones, that flow from pure lips and innocent hearts, like the sweetness of a flute, or the falling of water from a fountain!
Sleep, deaths beautiful brother,fairest phenomenonpoetical reality,thou sweet collapsing of the weary spirit; thou mystery that every one knows; thou remnant of primeval innocence and bliss: for Adam slept in Paradise. To sleeptheres a drowsy mellifluence in the very word that would almost serve to interpret its meaning,to shut up the senses and hoodwink the soul; to dismiss the world; to escape from ones self; to be in ignorance of our own existence; to stagnate upon the earth, just breathing out the hours, not living themDoing no mischief, only dreaming of it; neither merry nor melancholy, something between both, and better than either. Best friend of frail humanity, and, like all other friends, best estimated in its loss.
The little I have seen of the world and know of the history of mankind teaches me to look upon the errors of others in sorrow, not in anger. When I take the history of one poor heart that has sinned and suffered, and represent to myself the struggles and temptations it has passedthe brief pulsations of joythe feverish inquietude of hope and fearthe tears of regretthe feebleness of purposethe pressure of wantthe desertion of friendsthe scorn of the world, that has little charitythe desolation of the souls sanctuary, and threatening voices from withinhealth gonehappiness goneeven hope, that stays longest with us, gone,I have little heart for aught else than thankfulness that it is not so with me, and would fain leave the erring soul of my fellow-man with Him from whose hands it came.