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5. At midnight hour, as shines the moon,
Light clouds, like wreaths of purest snow.
6. On thy fair bosom, silver lake,
1. THE man or woman who despises the laborer, shows a want of common sense, and forgets that every article that is used is the production of more or less labor. The time was, when kings and queens stimulated their subjects to labor, by example. Queen Mary had her regular hours of work, and had one of her maids of honor read to her, while she plied the needle. Washington and his lady were examples of industry, plainness, frugality, and economy.
2. The necessity imposed on man to labor is unquestionably a great blessing. In those countries, and districts of country, where the greatest amount of labor is requisite to obtain the necessaries of life, we find the most vigorous, healthy, and athletic inhabitants. Where nature has done most for man, in providing for his bodily wants, we find him most destitute of the solid comforts of life.
3. Labor in the open air is most conducive to health, and agriculture affords the largest share of happiness, because the most independent of all professions. To raise, gather, and enjoy the fruits of the earth, and attend to flocks and herds,
a Queen Mary, probably Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
were the employments first assigned to man by our great Creator. Now, the variety is so great, that all who will may labor in a manner to suit the most fastidious fancy. Immense tracts of land are yet uncultivated, our workshops are numerous and rapidly increasing, our commerce is courting the markets of every climate.
4. Here, mental labor has an opportunity to expand and spread; and genius here finds a field as broad, more free and congenial, than in any other part of the world. All the powers of body and mind, physical and intellectual, here, more than any where, are put in the juxtaposition of mutual dependence upon each other, and are mutually useful to each other.
5. Manual labor, on the one hand, produces food and raiment for the body, the increase of wealth, and develops the treasures on and in the earth and water. Intellectual labor, on the other, discovers the best means, implements and plans, for producing these, and makes laws, rules and regulations, for the protection of person and property, the advancement of the moral condition of man, and the peace and prosperity of each individual, and the aggregate community.
6. But few are so ignorant, as not to feel their dependence on those around, above, and below them. This feeling of mutual dependence produces harmony, increases happiness, and promotes social order. All who study their physical organization, must soon discover how helpless man would be without a hand; the same reasoning will lead them to appreciate the small, as well as the great, in our body politic, one of the fundamental principles of a republican government.
7. Labor also induces men to be better citizens. Idleness leads to vice and crime. Indolence is no part of ethics or theology, nor is it recommended by pagan or Christian philosophy, by experience or common sense. Man was made for action, "noble, sublime, and god-like action." Let him see
a Juxtaposi'tion; nearness in place. b Man'ual; performed by the hand. c Phys'ical; pertaining to the body, not mental.
well to it, that he does not thwart the design of his creation and plunge headlong into the abyss of misery and woe.
1. THE human mind is the brightest display of the power and skill of the Infinite Mind with which we are acquainted. It is created and placed in this world to be educated for a higher state of existence. Here its faculties begin to unfold, and those mighty energies, which are to bear it forward to unending ages, begin to discover themselves.
2. The object of training such a mind should be, to enable the soul to fulfil her duties well here, and to stand on high vantage ground, when she leaves this cradle of her being for an eternal existence beyond the grave. There is now and then a youth, who, like Ferguson," can tend sheep in the field, and there accurately mark the position of the stars, with a thread and beads, and with his knife construct a watch from wood; but such instances are rare. Most need encouragement to sustain, instruction to aid, them.
and directions to guide
3. The mighty minds which have gone before us, have left treasures for our inheritance, and the choicest gold is to be had for the digging. How great the dissimilarity between a naked Indian, dancing with joy over a new feather for his head-dress, and such a mind as that of Newton or of Boyle! And what makes the difference?
4. There is mind enough in the savage; he can almost outdo the instincts of the prey which he hunts; but his soul is like the marble pillar. There is a beautiful statue in it, but the hand of the sculptor has never laid the chisel upon it.
a Ferguson; an eminent experimental philosopher and astronomer of Scotland b Boyle; a celebrated natural philosopher, born in Ireland.
mind of the savage has never been disciplined by study; and it, therefore, in the comparison, appears like the rough bison of the forest, distinguished only for strength and ferocity.
5. I am not now to discuss the question, whether the souls of men are naturally equal. You may have a good mind, a sound judgment, or a vivid imagination, or a wide reach of thought and of views; but, believe me, you probably are not a genius, and can never become distinguished without severe application. Hence all that you ever have, must be the result of labor; hard, untiring labor.
6. You have friends to cheer you on; you have books and teachers to aid you, and multitudes of helps. But, after all, discipline and educating your mind must be your own work. No one can do this but yourself. And nothing in this world is of any worth, which has not labor and toil as its price.
7. The zephyrs of summer can but seldom breathe around you. "I foresee, distinctly, that you will have to double Cape Horn in the winter season, and to grapple with the gigantic spirit of the storm, which guards the cape; and I foresee as distinctly, that it will depend entirely on your own skill and energy, whether you survive the fearful encounter, and live to make a port in the mild latitudes of the Pacific."
8. Set it down as a fact, to which there are no exceptions, that we must labor for all that we have, and that nothing is worth possessing, or offering to others, which costs us nothing. The first and great object of education is, to discipline the mind. Make it the first object to be able to fix and hold your attention upon your studies. He who can do this, has mastered many and great difficulties; and he who cannot do it, will in vain look for success in any department of study.
9. Patience is a virtue kindred to attention; and without it the mind cannot be said to be disciplined. Patient labor and investigation are not only essential to success in study, but are an unfailing guaranty to success.
10. The student should learn to think and act for himself. True originality consists in doing things well, and doing them in your own way. A mind half educated is generally imita
ting others. "No man was ever great by imitation." Let it be remembered that we cannot copy greatness or goodness by any effort. We must acquire it by our own patience and diligence.
11. Another object of study is, to form the judgment, so that the mind can not only investigate, but weigh and balance opinions and theories. Without this, you will 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 anything desirable, for the want of what may be called a well-balanced judgment.
12. 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 horse, moderately 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.
13. You may 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.
14. 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