« PreviousContinue »
the morning, he heard her give directions to a servant, relative to feeding the pigs. On going into the breakfast room, he jocosely asked her if the pigs had all breakfasted. All, sir, but the strange pig I am about to feed, was the witty reply. Sir Walter was mute, and walked up to the trough.
Washington and his lady were examples of industry, plainness, frugality and economy—and thousands of others of the wealthy, labored in the field and kitchen, in olden times, before folly superceded wisdom, and fashion drove common sense and economy off the track.
The necessity imposed on man to labor, is unquestionably a great blessing, as much as many are opposed to it, and as others flee from it. In those countries, and districts of country, where the greatest amount of labor is requisite to obtain the necessaries of life, we find the most vigorous, healthy, and athletic inhabitants. Where nature has done most for man, in providing for his bodily wants, we find him most destitute of the solid comforts of life. In the highlands of Scotland, on the mountains of Circassia, amidst the hills of Norway, the people are happier, by far more robust, and more energetic, than in effeminate Spain, or degraded Italy. In our own country, rock-bound New England, the long range of the Allegheny mountains, and their numerous spurs and valleys, support a much more hardy race of men, than the sunny South. . When the body becomes weakened by indolence, or by luxury, the mind usually suffers with it. The energies become torpid, the intellectual powers are not cultivated, and the whole man becomes enervated for want of action.
Labor in the open air is most conducive to health, and agriculture affords the largest share of happiness,
because the most independent of all professions. To raise, gather, and enjoy the fruits of the earth, and attend to flocks and herds, were the employments first assigned to man by our great Creator. Now, the variety is so great, that all who will, may labor in a manner to suit the most fastidious fancy. Immense tracts of land are yet uncultivated, our work shops are numerous, and rapidly increasing, our commerce is courting the markets of every clime. Here, mental labor has an opportunity to expand and spread—and genius here finds a field as broad, more free and congenial, than in any other part of the world. All the powers of body and mind, physical and intellectual, here, more than any where, are put in the juxtaposition of mutual dependance upon each other, and are mutually useful to each other. Manual labor, on the one hand, produces food and raiment for the body; and the increase of wealth ; developes the treasures on, and in the earth and water; intellectual labor, on the other, discovers the best means, implements, and plans for producing these, and makes laws, rules and regulations, for the protection of person and property; the advancement of the moral condition of man, and the peace and prosperity of each individual, and the aggregate community.
But few are so ignorant, as not to feel their dependance on those around, above, and below them. This feeling of mutual dependance produces harmony, increases happiness, and promotes social order. All who study their physical organization, must soon discover how helpless man would be without a thumb—the same reasoning will lead them to appreciate the small, as well as the great, in our body politic; one of the fundamental principles of a republican government.
Labor also induces men to be better citizens. Idleness leads to vice and crime. Indolence is no part of ethics or theology, nor is it recommended by pagan or Christian philosophy, by experience or common sense. Man was made for action, noble, sublime, and god-like action. Let him see well to it, that he does not thwart the design of his creation, and plunge headlong into the abyss of misery and wo.
Law is like longitude, about,
While sternly reprimanding.–Ray. Law, as defined in the elementary books, is the clear, translucent stream of justice, flowing freely and smoothly between the banks of wisdom and truth, purified by mercy and equity.
As found upon our statute books, this highway of justice, like some of our rivers, is interrupted in its free course, by individual dams, sand bars, snags, and flood wood; often changing the channel, and causing many a shipwreck. Its sinuosities are too numerous, for instinct and skill combined, to guard against danger at all times.
In our books of reports, the decisions of the high courts, professedly expositors and adjusters of elementary and statute law, are emphatically a labyrinthian maze. In attempting to remove the impediments thrown into the stream of justice by ignorant statute law makers, judges not unfrequently sink their own snag boat in the channel, and increase, instead of removing the danger. Hence, the original broad channel is filled with impediments—numerous narrow and crooked channels are formed, and he who can steer clear of the various obstacles in the stream, is more a lucky, than skilful pilot. So diverse and adverse are the decisions of different high courts, and of the same high court, that in examining cases, as precedents by which to try a suit, the lawyer encounters a perpetual change of cloud and sunshine, and occasionally a real thunder storm, succeeded by a burning sun. What was law at one time, is not law now-what is law in one place, is not in another-locality, individuality, prejudice, and perpetual change, characterize the decisions of judges learned in the law. I recollect a case to the point.
A shrewd lawyer was solicited to bring a suit, which could not be sustained by general principles of law, but was fully and clearly sustained by a decision of the Supreme Court. He accordingly brought the suit in that court, and brought it up during a term, when the judge was on the bench, who delivered the opinion of the court, in the case relied upon. The learned judge at once took a stand against the unfortunate attorney, who very coolly read the opinion formerly delivered by him. The judge quickly remarked, “that is not law sir." “ It is an opinion delivered by your honor," replied the attorney. “I can't help that sir, it was not law then, is not now, and never will be," replied the judge. The limb of the law felt that he was only a limb, and was dished up, like a lobster for a modern epicure. No mistake—there is a glorious, and sometimes an inglorious uncertainty hanging over the law; and a glorious certainty of avoiding much trouble, vexation, loss of money and time; by keeping out of it. A word to the wise is sufficient.
It is, however, absolutely necessary to have laws, and, properly expounded and administered, they are an inestimable blessing. We must have laws, but we need not a labyrinth of laws. The highway of justice is straight, based on the substratum of common sense. Supposititious law has filled, and is filling, its once broad and clear channel with impediments, increasing the dangers and uncertainty from year to year. Its banks of wisdom and truth are groaning under the accumulating mass of alluvial deposits_mercy and equity often fail to purify the stream from the mud of intrigue and the filth of corruption. Labor increases as the intricacies multiply-expenses swell with the back water, caused by each impediment, and but few wise men are found, who are willing to attempt a second voyage in a court of Law. He that can devise a remedy, will deserve well of his country. I would suggest the use of a condenser, and the chloride of simplicity, as promising partial relief.
True love's the gift which God has giv'n
If we consult the poets on this subject, the conclusion would not be very irrational, that love is the fountain of rhyming poetry, at least, and that most of the rhymers have been plunged all over in its delectable