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Ambition is at distance
SOME conceited wights, who study party politics more than philosophy or ethics, call all the laudable desires of the human heart, ambition, aiming to strip the monster of its deformity, that they may use it, as the livery of heaven to serve the devil in. The former are based on philanthropy, the latter, on selfishness. Lexicographers define ambition to be, an earnest desire of power, honour, preferment, pride. The honour that is awarded to power, is of doubtful gender, and the power that is acquired by ambition, is held by a slender tenure, a mere rope of sand. Its hero often receives the applause of the multitude one day, and its execrations the next. The summit of vain ambition is often the depth of misery. Based on a sandy foundation, it falls before the blasts of envy, and the tornado of faction. It is inflated by a gaseous thirst for power, like a balloon with hydrogen, and is in constant danger of being exploded, by the very element that causes its elevation. It eschews charity, and deals largely in the corrosive sublimate of falsehood, the aquafortis of envy, the elixir vitriol of revenge, and the asafetida of duplicity. Like the kite, it cannot rise in a calm, and requires a constant wind to preserve its upward course. The fulcrum of ignorance, and the lever of party spirit,
form its magic power. An astute writer has well observed, that “ambition makes the same mistake concerning power, that avarice makes relative to wealth.” The ambitious man begins, by accumulating it as the desideratum of happiness, and ends his career in the midst of exertions to obtain more. So ended the onward and upward career of Napoleon_his life, a modern wonder-his fate, a fearful warning-his death, a scene of gloom. Power is gained as a means of enjoyment, but oftener than otherwise, is its fell destroyer. Like the viper in the fable, it is prone to sting those who warm it into life. History fully demonstrates these propositions. Hyder Ali was in the habit of starting frightfully in his sleep. His confidential friend and attendant asked the reason. He replied,
He replied, “My friend, the state of a beggar is more delightful than my envied monarchy-awake, he sees no conspirators—asleep, he dreams of no assassins." Ambition, like the gold of the miser, is the sepulchre of all the other passions of the man.
It is the grand centre around which they move, with centripetal force. Its history is one of carnage and blood—it is the bane of substantial good it endangers body and soul, for time and eternity. Reader, if you desire peace of mind, shun ambition and the ambitious man. He will use you as some men do their horses, ride you all day without food, and give you post meat for supper. He will gladly make a bridge of you, on which to walk into power, provided he can pass toll free. Let your aim be more lofty than the highest pinnacle ambition can rear. Nothing is pure but heaven, let that be the prize you seek,
“And taste and prove in that transporting sight,
It doth appal me
BYRON seems to have viewed anger with contemptJohnson, with compassion. The latter is right, and the former not far wrong. It is folly not to control our anger and keep it in subjection-long indulgence gives it a mastery over us-it then becomes a confirmed disease, and calls for our pity. It is one of the misfortunes of our fallen nature, and can best be disarmed by kindness. The bee seldom stings the hand that is covered with honey—the cross dog can be appeased with a piece of meat, the angry man is soonest cooled by gentleness. Anger is a species of momentary insanity—all humane persons treat the unfortunate subjects of this disease, tenderly, as the best means of restoring them to their right mind.
When anger comes in contact with anger, it is like the meeting of two fires—the conflagration and damage are increased. As water extinguishes the one, so will gentleness the other. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Be angry and sin not. By these remarks, I do not become the apologist of those who indulge this inflammable, explosive propensity—the treatment of the disease is my object. The patient who has long been afflicted, may do much towards effecting his own cure-at first, the malady was under his control. An ounce of prevention then, was worth more than a pound of cure, after the habit is fixed. The disadvantages arising from anger, under all circumstances, should prove a panacea for the complaint. In moments of cool reflection, the man who indulges it, views, with deep regret, the desolations produced by a summer storm of passion. Friendship, domestic happiness, self-respect, the esteem of others, and sometimes property; are swept away by a whirlwind-perhaps a tornado of anger. I I have more than once seen the furniture of a house in a mass of ruin, the work of an angry moment. I have seen anger make wives unhappy, alienate husbands, spoil children, derange all harmony, and disturb the quiet of a whole neighbourhood. Anger, like too much wine, hides us from ourselves, but exposes us to others. If the man who has, for years, been a confirmed drunkard, can form, and religiously keep, a resolution to refrain from the fatal poison, the man who has often been intoxicated with anger, should go and do likewise. He can but try—the effort may be crowned with triumphant success.
SELECT AND ORIGINAL.
A SAGE and poor shepherd looked for truth. The former sought her among the stars, the latter found her at his feet.
Life, to youth, is a fairy tale just opened; to old age, a tale read through, ending in death. Be wise in time, that you may be happy in eternity.
Happiness, like a snail, is never found from home, nor without a home.
The rose is sweetest when it first opens; the spikenard root, when the herb dies. Beauty belongs to youth, and dies with it, but the odour of piety survives death, and perfumes the tomb.
Never be cast down by trifles. If a spider breaks his thread twenty times in a day, he patiently mends it each time. Make up your mind to do a good thing, it will be done. Fear not troubles, keep up your spirits, the darkness will pass away. If the sun is going down, look at the stars; if they are hid by clouds, still look up to heaven, rely upon the promises of God, and be cheerful. Never yield to misfortunes. Mind what you run after; avoid bubbles that will burst, and fire-works that end in smoke; get that which is worth keeping, and can be kept.
Fight against a hasty temper; a spark may set a house on fire; a fit of passion may cause you to mourn long and bitterly. Govern your passions, or they will govern you. Conquer your enemies by kindness, preserve your friends by prudence, deserve the esteem of all by goodness.
The road ambition travels, is too narrow for friendship, too crooked for love, too rugged for honesty, too dark for science, and too hilly for happiness.
Evil thoughts are dangerous enemies, and should be repulsed at the threshold of our minds. Fill the head and heart with good thoughts, that there be no room for bad ones.
Drinking water, neither makes a man sick nor in debt, or his wife a widow. Prosperity gains a thousand intimates, adversity often shows us that not one