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they have been superior to other men is, that they have taken more pains than other men.
3. Gibbon was in his study every morning', winter and summer', at six o'clock'; Mr. Burke was the most indefatigable of human beings'; Leibnitz was never out of his library'; Pascal killed himself by study'; Cicero narrowly escaped death by the same cause'; Milton was at his books with as much regularity as a merchant or an attorney', -he had mastered all the knowledge of his time'; so had Homer. Raffaelle lived but thirty-seven years, and, in that short space, carried the art of painting so far beyond what it had before reached, that he appears to stand alone as a model to his successors.
4. There are instances to the contrary; but, generally speaking, the life of all truly great men has been a life of intense and incessant labor. They have commonly passed the first half of life in the gross darkness of indigent humility; overlooked, mistaken, contemned by weaker men; thinking' while others slept', reading while others rioted'; feeling something within them that told them they should not always be kept down among the dregs of the world. And then, when their time was come, and some little accident has given them their first occasion, they have burst out into the light and glory of public life, rich with the spoils of time, and mighty in all the labors and struggles of the mind.
5. Then do the multitude cry out “a miracle of genius'!" Yes, he is a miracle of genius', because he is a miracle of labor'; because, instead of trusting to the resources of his own single mind', he has ransacked a thousand minds'; because he makes use of the accumulated wisdom of ages', and takes', as his point of departure', the very last line and boundary to which science has advanced'; because it has ever been the object of his life to assist every intellectual gift of nature', however munificent and however splendid', with every resourcé that art could suggest, and every attention diligence could bestow'.
6. But, while I am descanting upon the conduct of the understanding and the best modes of acquiring knowledge, some men may be disposed to ask, “Why conduct my understanding with such endless care? and what is the use of so much knowledge ?” What is the use of so much knowledge ? What is the use of se much life? What are we to do with the seventy years of existenco allotted to us? and how are we to live them out to the last? I solemnly declare, that, but for the love of knowledge, I should consider the life of the meanest hedger and ditcher as preferable to that of the greatest and richest man in existence; for the fire of our minds is like the fire which the Persians burn in the mountains, it flames night and day, and is immortal, and not to be quenched! Upon something it must act and feed"; upon the pure spirit of knowledge', or upon the foul dregs of polluting passions
7. Therefore, when I say', in conducting your understanding', love knowledge with a great love, with a vehement love, with a love coeval with life, what do I say, but love innocence'; love virtue'; love purity of conduct'; love that which', if you are rich and great, will sanctify the blind fortune which has made you so', and make men call it justice'; love that which', if you are poor', will render your poverty respectable', and make the proudest feel it unjust to laugh at the meanness of
fortunes'; love that which wiil comfort you', adorn you', and never quit you'; which will open to you the kingdom of thought, and all the boundless regions of conception, as an asylum against the cruelty, the injustice, and the pain', that may be your lot in the outer world'; that which will make
motives habitually great and honorable, and light up in an instant a thousand noble disdains at the very thought of meanness and of fraud !
8. Therefore', if any young man here have embarked his life in pursuit of knowledge', let him go on without doubting or fearing the event'; let him not be intimidated by the cheerless beginnings of knowledge', by the darkness from which she springs', by the difficulties which hover around her, by the wretched habitations in which she dwells', by the want and sorrow which sometimes journey in her train'; but let him ever follow her as the angel that guards him, and as the genius of his life'. She will bring him out at last into the light of day', and exhibit him to the world comprehensive in acquirements, fertile in resources', rich in imagination, strong in reasoning, prudent and powerful above his fellows in all the relations, and in all the offices, of life!
CLEAR THE WAY.
BY CHARLES MACKAY.
CHARLES MACKAY, one of the most popular writers of the day, was born at Perth, Scotland, about the year 1812. He was educated for a lawyer; but his love of literature predominated, and he relinquished the fractice of law, and became an author by profession. From 1834 to 1843 he was connected with the “ Morning Chronicle." In 1844 he became the Editor of the “Glasgow Courier." He has published a volume of poems and a number of prose works, has written many excellent articles in “Chambers's Journal,” and it is said that he is now one of the principal contributors to the “ London Illustrated News."
1. MEN of thought', be up and stirring
Night and day;
(pof) Clear the way'!
As you may
Changing into gray'.
2. Once the welcome light has broken,
Who shall say
Of the day?
In its ray?
1. OMAR, the son of Hassan, had passed seventy-five years in honor and prosperity. The favor of three successive califs had filled his house with gold and silver; and, whenever he appeared, the benedictions of the people proclaimed his passage. Terrestrial happiness is of short continuance. The brightness of the flame is wasting its fuel; the fragrant flower is passing away in its own odors.
2. The vigor of Omar began to fail'; the curls of beauty fell from his head, strength departed from his hands', and agility from his feet'. He gave back to the calif the keys of trust and the seals of secrecy, and sought no other pleasure for the remains of life than the converse of the wise' and the gratitude of the good
3. The powers of his mind were yet unimpaired. His chamber was filled with visitants, eager to catch the dictates of experience, and officious to pay the tribute of admiration. Caled, the son of the viceroy of Egypt, entered every day early, and retired late. He was beautiful and eloquent; Omar admired his wit, and loved his docility.
4. “Tell me,” said Caled, “thou to whose voice nations have listened, and whose wisdom is known to the extremities of Asia, tell me how I may resemble Omar the. prudent. The arts by which thou hast gained power and preserved it', are to thee no longer necessary or useful'; impart to me the secret of thy conduct, and teach me' the plan upon which thy wisdom has built thy fortune.”
5. “Young man,” said Omar, “it is of little use to form plans of life. When I took my first survey of the world, in my twentieth year, having considered the various conditions of manind, in the hour of solitude I said thus to myself, leaning gainst a cedar which spread its branches over my head :
6. “Seventy years are allowed to man; I have yet fifty remaining:- Ten years I will allot to the attainment of knowledge', and ten I will pass in foreign countries'; I shall be learned', and therefore shall be honored'; every city will shout at my arrival', and every student will solicit my friendship'. Twenty years, thus passed', will store my mind with images', which I shall be busy', through the rest of my life', in combining and comparing
7. “I shall revel in inexhaustible accumulations of intellectual riches'; I shall find new pleasures for every moment', and shall never more be weary of myself'. I will not, however, deviate too far from the beaten track of life; but will try what can be found in female delicacy. I will marry a wife beautiful as the houries, and wise as Zobeide; with her I will live twenty years within the suburbs of Bagdad, in every pleasure that wealth car purchase, and fancy can invent.
8. “I will then retire to a rural dwelling, pass my days in obscurity and contemplation, and lie silently down on the bed of death. Through my life it shall be my settled resolution', that I will never depend upon the smile of princes'; that I will never stand exposed to the artifices of courts'; I will never pant for public honors', nor disturb my quiet with the affairs of state'. Such was my scheme of life, which I impressed indelibly upon my memory.
9. “The first part of my ensuing time was to be spent in search of knowledge; and I know not how I was diverted from my design. I had no visible impediments without, nor any ungovernable passions within. I regarded knowledge as the highest honor', and the most engaging pleasure'; yet day stole upon day', and month glided after month', till I found that seven years of the first ten had vanished', and left nothing behind them!
10.", I now postponed my purpose of traveling'; for why should I go abroad', while so much remained to be learned at home? I immured myself for four years, and studied the laws of the empire. The fame of my skill reached the judges; I was found able to speak upon doubtful questions; and was commauded to stand at the footstool of the calif. I was heard with