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53. Vanoc's Patriotism.
Vunoc. Now, tribune.
Val. I come not as a herald, but a friend;
Van. So much for words. — Now to your purpose, tribune
Val. Sent by our new lieutenant, who in Rome,
Van. We must not hold a friendship with the Romans
Van. I thought you honest. I have been deceived:
Val. Believe me, prince, your vehemence of spirit,
Van. O, I have scanned it thoroughly. Night and day,
val. At first, the Romans did not interpose,
Van. To moderate!
Val. Prince, you insult upon this day's success.
Van. Who shall confine it?
Val. Blush rather that you are a slave to passion,
Taught us more arts than honest men require,
Val. We found you naked
Van. Speak things that honest men may hear with temper ,
Val. Can you disown a truth confessed by all ?
Van. Prevaricating — false — most courteous tyrants;
A Roman virtue, that has cost you dear;
54. The Memory of Joy.
How bountifully gifted is man! He lives not only in the present, but in the past and future. The days of his childhood belong to him, even when his hair is white and his eyes are clouded; and heaven itself may open on his vision, while he is wandering among the shadows of earth, and dwelling in a tabernacle of clay. He may look back to the rosy dawn and faint glimmerings of his intellectual day, and forward, till his unchecked sight discerns the dwelling-place of God, and grows familiar with eternity.
The greater part of our mental pleasures is drawn from the sources of memory and hope; for while Hope is constantly adorning the future with her fresh colors and bright images, Memory is as active in bringing back to us the joys of the past; and though it is also her duty to introduce its pains, it is with the veil of time becomingly thrown over them, to soften the severity of their features, and render their presence not only endurable, but often soothing and welcome.
But I would not speak of the pleasures, alone, which these kind handmaids of our life are commissioned to procure for us. They hold instruction in their keeping; and if we will intimately and seriously converse with them, we may receiye from their lips the lessons of wisdom and virtue.
They are to be consulted on the real business, as well as the meditative delights, of existence; for what would be the excitement of labor without the encouragements of hope ? and where could Experience go for bis treasures, if the storehouse of Memory should fail? I might compare these faculties to the valuable friends, who are always found ready to minister to our amusement, and participate in our gayety, and . equally ready to counsel our sober hours, and assist our emergencies with effectual help.
Let us attend to the instructive voice of Memory. Let us lend a careful ear to the moral of her tales. Let us, like the Psalmist, when we remember the days of old, hallow our reminiscences by meditating on the works of God — by tracing the hand of a merciful Providence through the varied for tunes of our course.
The memory of joy reaches far back in the annals of every one's life. Indeed, there are many who persuade themselves that they never experienced true pleasure, except in the earliest stages of their career ; who complain, that when the hours of childhood flew away, they bore off the best joys of life upon their wings, leaving passion to be the minister of youth, and care to be the portion of manhood, and regret and pain to drag old age into the grave.
I cannot sympathize in these gloomy views. I consider them in a high degree unjust to the happiness which God has spread out liberally through every division of our days, and which can be missed or forfeited in hardly any other manner than through our wilful sins. But I do not the less share the visions and participate in the pleasures of those who love to retrace the green paths of their early years, and refresh their hearts with the retrospect of guileless innocence, of sunbright hopes, of delights that the merest trifle could purchase, and of tears that any kind hand could wipe away
How many scenes exist in the remembrance of each one of us, soft, and dim, and sacred, beyond the painter's art to copy, but hung up, as in an ancient gallery, for the visits and contemplation of our maturer minds. Mellowed they are, and graced, like other pictures, by the slow and taste. ful hand of time.
The groves, through which we ran as free as our playmate the wind, wave with a more graceful foliage, and throw a purer shade; the ways which our young feet trod have lost