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of him—ventured to preach a sermon on the Duties
but satisfies no man, and makes a good many angry, as I told you on a former occasion.
Oh, indeed, no -I am not ashamed to make rou laugh, occasionally. I think I couli read you
something I have in my desk which would probal's make you smile. Perhaps I will read it one of the days, if you are patient with me when I am senu mental and reflective; not just now.
The ludicrou has its place in the universe; it is not a human in vention, but one of the Divine ideas, illustrated in the practical jokes of kittens and monkeys long be. fore Aristophanes or Shakspeare. How curious it is that we always consider solemnity and the absence of all gay surprises and encounter of wits as essential to the idea of the future life of those whom we thus deprive of half their faculties and then call blessed! There are not a few who, even in this lite, seem to be preparing themselves for that smileless eternity to which they look forward, by banishing all gayety from their hearts and all joyousness from their countenances. I meet one such in the street not unfrequently, a person of intelligence and education, but who gives me (and all that he passes) such a rayless and chilling look of recognition,something as if he were one of Heaven's assessors, come down to “doom" every acquaintance he met, that I have sometimes begun to sneeze on the spot, and gone home with a violent cold, dating from that instant. I don't doubt he would cut his kitten's tail off, if he caught her playing with it. Please tell me, who taught her to play with it?
No, no give me a chance to talk to you, my fel. low-boarders, and you need not be afraid that I shal
gave any scruples about entertaining you, if I can
I find the great thing in this world is not so much
og, I beg you. It is merely a smart way of saying that we cannot avoid measuring our rate of move. ment by those with whom we have long been in the habit of comparing ourselves; and when they onco becoine stationary, we can get our reckoning from then, with painful accuracy. We see just what we were when they were our peers, and can strike the balance between that and whatever we may feel ourselves to be now. No doubt we may sometimes he mistaken. If we change our last simile to that very old and familiar one of a fleet leaving the harbor and sailing in company for some distant region, we can get what we want out of it. There is one of our companions ;—her streamers were torn into rags before she had got into the open sea, then by and by her sails blew out of the ropes one after another, the waves swept her deck, and as night came on we left her a seeming wreck, as we few under our pyramid of canvas. But lo! at dawn she is still in sight,-it may be in advance of us. Some deep ocean-current has been moving her on, strong, but silent,---yes, stronger than these noisy winds that puff our sails until they are swollen as the cheeks of jubilant cherubim. And when at last the black steam-tug with the skeleton arms, which comes out of the mist sooner or later and takes us all in tow, grapples her and goes off panting and groaning with her, it is to that harbor where all wrecks are refitted, and where, alas! we, towering in our pride, may never come.
So you will not think I mean to speak lightly of old friendships, because we cannot help instituting romparisons between our present and former selves by the aid of those who were what we were, but are not what we are. Nothing strikes one more, in the race of life, than to see how many give out in the first half of the course. “ Commencement day" always reminds me of the start for the “ Derby," when the beautiful high-bred three-year olds of the season are brought up for trial. That day is the start, and life is the race. Here we are at Cam. bridge, and a class is just “graduating.” Poor Harry! he was to have been there too, but he has paid forfeit; step out here into the grass back of the church; ah! there it is :
“ HUNC LAPIDEM POSUERUNT
SociI MERENTES.” But this is the start, and here they are,-coats bright as silk, and manes as smooth as eau lustrale can make them. Some of the best of the colts are pranced round, a few minutes each, to show their paces. What is that old gentleman crying about? and the old lady by him, and the three girls, what are they all covering their eyes for ? Oh, that is their colt which has just been trotied up on the stage. Do they really think those little thin legs can do anything in such a slashing sweepstakes as is co ming iff in these next forty years? Oh, this ter. rible gift of second-sight that comes to some of us