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And judge none lost; but wait and see,
The measure of the height of pain
ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER.
Unfortunately, you cannot avoid hearing illnatured gossip, but you must close your ears to it as much as possible. Turn the conversation if you can; sometimes show that you are seriously displeased, but do it prudently.
Let us talk as little as may be about people, for praise soon palls, and a skillful analysis of character tends towards unkind criticism. In these days of wide interests and of books to suit every taste, conversation should surely steer clear of personalities.
Jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames.
CANTICLE OF CANTICLES viii.
Foul Jealousy! that turnest love divine
To joyless dread, and mak'st the loving heart With hateful thoughts to languish and to pine, And feed itself with self-consuming smart, Of all the passions in the mind thou vilest art!
EDMUND SPENSER (1553-1599).
Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds: they ever fly by twilight. BACON (1561-1626). Sensitiveness without tenderness is a very terrible thing. When separated from it, sensitiveness
is for the most part allied to cruelty, and cruelty is a complete disability to be a saint. Cruel men are more common than we might have supposed, for modern society exhibits great facilities and conveniences for cruelty. . . . Nay, what too often is domestic life, because of this cruelty, but a veil behind which lie interminable regions of unhappiness, trodden wildly or trodden wearily by unsuspected thousands every day?
And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. . . . The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.
Scorning her wonted herald, lo the Day
Such festival, in Bethlehem's manger weeps.
R. CRASHAW [Cl.]. D. 1650. Never yet had kings more royal souls. They left their homes, their state, and their affairs, and journeyed westward, they knew not whither, led nightly by the star that slipped onward in its silent groove. They were representations of the heathen world moving forward to the feet of the universal Saviour.
We have seen his star in the east, and we are come to adore him.
Twelve nights the Magi journey from afar,
A troop of swarthy slaves in eager haste,
With gems, and filled with incense, gold, and myrrh,
Pile them upon the beasts. Then with swift hand They furl the tents, and wait their lords' command.
Apart from all, the kings with steadfast gaze
Decked to do homage are the royal seers,
'Tired in gorgeous stuffs where fingers deft
Each laden camel struggles to his feet,
January 6. Epiphany.
And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother; and falling down, they adored him. And opening their treasures, they offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
God is my gift, himself he freely gave me.
What right had ingots of ruddy gold to be gleaming in the cave of Bethlehem? Arabian perfumes were meeter for Herod's halls than for the cattle-shed scooped in the gloomy rock. The myrrh truly was in its place, however costly it might be; for it prophesied in pathetic silence of that bitter-sweet quintessence of love which should be extracted for men from the sacred Humanity of the Babe in the press of Calvary.
The strange secrecy, too, with which this kingly, Oriental progress, with picturesque costumes, and jewelled turbans, and the dark-faced slaves, and the stately-stepping camels, passed over many regions, makes it seem still more like a visionary splendor, a many-colored apparition, and not a sober mystery of the humble incarnate Word.
Art thou the first man that was born, or wast thou made before the hills?
He that is wise hearkeneth unto counsels.
Have you not seen, when, whistled from the fist,
The dastard crow, that to the wood made wing
As those who unripe veins in mines explore,
Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; use extreme remedies at first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or retract them, like an unready horse, that will neither stop nor turn. Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of suc