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160. WIFE, CHILDREN, AND FRIENDS.
When the black-lettered list to the Gods was presented,
In vain surly Plato maintained he was cheated,
If the stock of our bliss is in stranger hand vested,
Though valour still glows in his life's dying embers,
The soldier whose deeds live immortal in story,
Though spice-breathing gales on his caravan hover,
The merchant still thinks of the wood-bines that cover The bower where he sat with wife, children and friends.
The day-spring of youth still unclouded by sorrow, Alone on itself for enjoyment depends,
But drear is the twilight of age if it borrow
No warmth from the smile of wife, children and friends.
Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish The laurel which o'er the dead favourite bends; O'er me wave the willow, and long may it flourish, Bedewed with the tears of wife, children and friends.
Let us drink, for my song, growing graver and
To subjects too solemn insensibly tends;
Let us drink-pledge me high; Love and Virtue shall flavour
The glass which I fill to wife, children and friends. -HON. WILLIAM ROBERT SPENCER.
161. WISDOM AND FOLLY.
What is wisdom? That sovereign word is used for two different things. It may stand for knowledge, learning, science, systematic reasoning; or it may mean, as Coleridge has defined it, common sense in an uncommon degree; that is to say, the unsystematic truths that come to shrewd, penetrating and observant minds, from their own experience of life, and their daily commerce with the world, and that is called the wisdom of life, or the wisdom of the world, or the wisdom of time and the ages.
To act with common sense according to the moment is the best wisdom.
To provide against every important danger by the employment of the most promising means, is the office of wisdom.
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom.
What is it to be wise?
'Tis but to know how little can be known;
The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.
-NAPOLEON'S FAVOURITE MAXIM.
In short, wisdom can draw expedient from obstacle, invention from difficulty, safety from danger, resource from sterility, and remedy from poison. In her hands all things become beautiful by their adaptment; subservient by their use; and salutary by their application. -COLTON.
Where the eye of pity weeps,
To be resign'd when ills betide,
This is that incense of the heart,
A man of truest wisdom will resign
His wealth, and e'en his life, for good of others ;
When death in any case is sure to happen.
• Prof. Johnson's edition.
Experience is the father and memory the mother of
--OLD ITALIAN PROVERB.
Self-discipline and self-control are the beginnings of practical wisdom; and these must have their root in self-respect. Hope springs from it-hope, which is the companion of power and mother of success. And as I respect myself, so am I equally bound to respect others, as they on their part are bound to respect me.
They said to Lokmân the sage, "of whom didst thou learn wisdom?" He replied, He replied, " Of the blind; for until they have tried the ground they do not put down their feet. "
Riches diminish in the using, wisdom increases by use.
Wisdom cannot create materials; her pride is in their use.
A wise man's motto is, "Win gold and use it."
Be timely wise rather than wise in time.
Affectation of wisdom often prevents our becoming
• Translated by Platts.