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never be able to decide what to read or what to throw aside; what author to distrust, or what opinions to receive. Some of the most laborious men, and diligent readers, pass through life without accomplishing any thing desirable, for the want of what may be called a well-balanced judgment.
The great instrument of affecting the world is the mind; and no instrument is so decidedly and continually improved by exercise and use, as the mind. Many seem to feel as if it were not safe to put forth all their powers at one effort. You must reserve your strength for great occasions, just as you would use your horsemoderately and carefully on common occasions, but give him the spur on occasions of great emergency. This might be well, were the mind, in any respect, like the bones and muscles of the horse.
You inay call upon your mind, to-day, for its highest efforts, and stretch it to the utmost in your power, and you have done yourself a kindness. The mind will be all the better for it. To-morrow you may do it again; and each time it will answer more readily to your calls.
But remember that real discipline of mind does not so much consist in now and then making a great effort, as in having the mind so trained that it will make constant efforts. The perfection of a disciplined mind is, not to be able, on some great contingency, to rouse up its faculties, and draw out a giant strength, but to have it always ready to produce a given and an equal quantity of results in a given and equal time.
THE INDIAN, AS HE WAS, AND AS HE IS. Not many generations ago, where you now sit circled with all that exalts and embellishes civilized life, the rank thistle nodded in the wind, and the wild fox dug his hole unscared. Here lived and loved another race of beings. Beneath the same sun that rolls over your heads, the Indian hunter pursued the panting deer: gazing on the same moon that smiles for you, the Indian lover wooed his dusky mate.
Here the wigwam blaze beamed on the tender and helpless, the council-fire glared on the wise and daring. Now they paddled the light canoe along your rocky shores. Here they warred; the echoing whoop, the bloody grapple, the defying death-song, all were here; and, when the tiger strife was over, here curled the smoke of peace.
Here, too, they worshiped; and from many a dark bosom went up a pure prayer to the Great Spirit. He had not written his laws for them on tables of stone, but he had traced them on the tables of their hearts. The poor
child of nature knew not the God of revelation, but the God of the universe he acknowledged in every thing around.
He beheld him in the star that sunk in beauty behind his lonely dwelling; in the sacred orb that flamed on him from his mid-day throne; in the flower that snapped in the morning breeze; in the lofty pine, that
defied a thousand whirlwinds; in the timid warbler, that never left his native grove; in the fearless eagle, whose untired pinion was wet in clouds; in the worm that crawled at his foot; and in his own matchless form, glowing with a spark of that light, to whose mysterious source he bent, in humble, though blind adoration.
And all this has passed away. Across the ocean came a pilgrim bark, bearing the seeds of life and death. The former were sown for you; the latter sprang up in the path of the simple native. Two hundred years have changed the character of a great continent, and blotted, forever, from its face a whole peculiar people. Art has usurped the bowers of nature, and the anointed children of education have been too powerful for the tribes of the ignorant.
Here and there, a stricken few remain; but how unlike their bold, untamed, untameable progenitors! The Indian, of falcon glance, and lion bearing, the theme of the touching ballad, the hero of the pathetic tale, is gone! and his degraded offspring crawl upon the soil where he walked in majesty, to remind us how miserable is man, when the foot of the conqueror is on his neck.
As a race, they have withered from the land. Their arrows are broken, their springs are dried up, their cabins are in the dust. Their council-fire has long since gone out on the shore, and their war-cry is fast dying to the untrodden west. Slowly and sadly they climb the distant mountains, and read their doom in the setting sun. They are shrinking before the mighty tide which is pressing them away; they must soon hear the roar of the last wave, which will settle over them forever.
Ages hence, the inquisitive white man, as he stands by some growing city, will ponder on the structure of their disturbed remains, and wonder to what manner of person they belonged. They will live only in the songs and chronicles of their exterminators. Let these be faithful to their rude virtues as men, and pay due tribute to their unhappy fate as a people.
THE CLOSING YEAR. 'Tis midnight's holy hour, and silence now Is brooding like a gentle spirit o'er The still and pulseless world. Hark! on the winds The bell's deep tones are swelling; 'tis the knell Of the departed year. No funeral train Is sweeping past, yet, on the stream and wood, With melancholy light, the moonbeams rest, Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred As by a mourner's sigh; and on yon cloud, That floats so still and placidly through heaven, The spirits of the seasons seem to standYoung spring, bright summer, autumn's solemn form, And winter with his aged locks — and þreathe, In mournful cadences, that come abroad Like the far wind-harp's wild and touching wail, A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year Gone from the earth forever.
'Tis a time