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Now if it be allowed that very different, and even contrary, forms and disposition are consistent with beauty, it amounts, I believe, to a concession that no certain measures, operating from a natural principle, are necessary to produce it, at least so far as the brute species is concerned.



The quality of mercy is not strained ;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath ; it is twice blest :
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes ;
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown ;
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings ;
But mercy is above this sceptered sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself ;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's

When mercy seasons justice. [From “ The Merchant of Venice.”] WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.


WILLIAM GILMORE SIMms was born in Charleston, South Carolina, April 17, 1806. His academic education was acquired in the schools of that city. At the early age of seven, he showed a passion for literary effort. On reaching maturity, he became for a while a student of the law. In 1828 he edited the Charleston City Gazette. At about the same period he published two volumes of verse. Then began the series of novels that attained much popularity and widely increased his fame. These relate, in the main, to southern life, and abound in “ local color." His works have been republished in recent times, in seventeen illustrated volumes.

He died in Charleston, June 11, 1870.
The present selection is taken from “ The Yemassee."

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The gray soft tints of an April dawn had scarcely yet begun to lighten in the dim horizon, when the low door of an Indian lodge that lay almost embowered in a forest thicket, might be seen to open, and a tall warrior to emerge slowly and in silence from its shelter. He was followed by a dog, somewhat handsomer than those which usually claim the red man for a master.

The warrior was armed after the Indian fashion. The long, straight bow, with a bunch of arrows, probably a dozen in number, suspended by a thong of deerskin, hung loosely upon his shoulders. His hatchet, or tomahawk, was slightly secured to his waist by a girdle of the same material. His dress, which fitted tightly to his person, indicated a frequent intercourse with the whites. He wore a sort of pantaloons, the seams of which had been permanently secured with strings, unsewed, but tied. They were made of tanned buckskin of the brightest yellow, and of as tight a fit as the most punctilious dandy in modern times would insist upon.

An upper garment, also of buckskin, made with more regard to freedom of limb, and called by the whites a hunting shirt, completed the dress. Sometimes the wearer threw this loosely across his shoulders, secured with the broad belt which usually accompanied the garment. Buskins, or, as he named them, moccasins, also of the skin of the deer, tanned, or in its natural state, according to caprice or energy, inclosed his feet tightly.

The form of the warrior was large and justly proportioned. Stirring event and trying exercise had given it a confident, free, and manly carriage. He might have been about fifty years of age; certainly he could not have been less; though we arrive at this conclusion rather from the strong and sagacious expression of his features than from any mark of feebleness or age.

Unlike the Yemassees' generally, who seem to have been of an elastic and frank temper, the chief -- for such he is — whom we describe, seemed one

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who had learned to despise all the light employments of life, and now lived only in constant meditation of deep scheme and subtle adventure.

Thus appearing, and followed closely by his dog, advancing from the shelter of his wigwam, he drew tightly the belt about his waist, and feeling carefully the string of his bow, as if to satisfy himself that it could be depended on, prepared to go forth into the forest. [Abridgment.]



How seldom, friends, a good great man inherits,
Honor and wealth with all his worth and pains !
If any man obtain that which he merits,
Or any merit that which he obtains
For shame, dear friends, renounce this canting strain :
What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain;
Place, titles, salary, a gilded chain ?
Or throne of corses which his sword hath slain ?
Greatness and goodness are not means but ends :
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man — three treasures, Love and Light,
And calm thoughts regular as infants' breath ;
And three firm friends, more sure than day and night,
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death ?



WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE was born in Liverpool, England, Dec. 29, 1809. His education was begun at Eton School and completed at Oxford University, where, in 1831, he graduated with the highest honors. In 1832 he was elected to Parliament, and there entered on a political career of long duration and great significance. He served several terms as a member of the Royal Cabinet. He was an able statesman, a powerful orator, an ardent patriot, and an industrious scholar.

He died at his home in Hawarden, May 19, 1898. His body was buried

in Westminster Abbey. The present selection is taken from an essay entitled “ The Might of the Right,” by courtesy of Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company.


It is sometimes said that this world is a world only of shadows and phantoms. We may safely reply that, whatever it is, a world of shadows and phantoms it can never truly be; for by shadows and phantoms we mean vague existences, which neither endure nor act; creatures of the moment, which may touch the fancy, but which the understanding does not recognize; passing illusions, without heralds before them, without results or traces after them. With such a description as this, I say, our human life, in whatever state or station, can never correspond. It may be something better than this; it may be something worse ; but this it can never be.

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