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MEMORY AND HOPE.
Which spring from that fountain to gladden our way
104. MEMORY AND HOPE.
COPE is the leading-string of youth ; memory the staff of
age. Yět, for a long time, they were at variance,' and scarcely ever åssociated together. Memory was almost always grave, nay, sad and melancholy. She delighted in silence and repose, amid rocks and waterfalls ; and whenever she raised her eyes from the ground, it was only to look back over her shoulder.
2. Hope was a smiling, dancing, rosy boy, with sparkling eyes, and it was impossible to look upon him without being inspired by his gay and sprightly buoyancy.” Wherever he went, he diffused gladness and joy around him; the eyes of the young sparkled brighter than ever at his approach; old age, as it cast its dim glances at the blue vault' of heaven, seemed inspired with new vigor; the flowers looked more gay, the grass more green, the birds sung more cheerily, and all nature seemed to sympathize' in his gladness. Memory was of mortal birth, but Hope partook of immortality.
3. One day they chanced to meet, and Memory reproached Hope with being a deceiver. She charged him with deluding mankind with visionary,' impracticable schemes, and exciting expectations that led only to disappointment and regret; with being the ignis fatuus' of youth, and the scourge of old age.
1 Vā' ri ance, the act or state of have a common feeling. varying; at enmity.
6 Im'mor tăl' i ty, the quality of Buoyancy, (bwai' an cy,) light one exempt from death; perpetual ness; flow of spirits; cheerfulness. life; freedom from forgetfulness.
Vault, (vålt), a continued arch & Visionary, (viz' un a ry), dreamy; or circle.
imaginary; not real. * Sým' pa thize, to feel in conse- Ig' nis fåt' u us, a deceitful fire ; quence of what another feels: to anything that deceives.
4. But Hope cast back upon her the charge of deceit, and maintained that the pictures of the past were as much exaggerated by Memory, as were the anticipations of Hope. He declared that she looked at objects at a great distance in the past, he in the future, and that this distance magnified every thing. “Let us make the circuit of the world,” said he, “and try the experiment.” Memory reluctantly consented, and they went their way together.
5. The first person they met was a schoolboy, lounging lazily along, and stopping every moment to gaze around, as if unwilling to proceed on his way. By and by, he sat down and burst into tears. “Whither so fast, my good lad ?" asked Hope, jeeringly.
6. “I am going to school,” replied the lad, “to study, when I would rather, a thousand times, be št play; and sit on a bench with a book in my hand, while I lòng to be sporting in the fields. But never mind, I shall be a man soon, and then I shall be as free as the air.” Saying this, he skipped ăway měrrily, in the hope of soon being a man. “It is thus you play upon the inexperience of youth,” said Memory, reproachfully.
7. Passing onward, they met a beautiful girl, pacing slowly and with a melancholy air, behind a party of gay young men and maidens, who walked arm in arm with each other, and were flirting and exchanging all those little harmless courtesies, which nature prompts on such occasions. They were all gayly dressed in silks and ribbons ; but the little girl had on a simple frock, a homely apron, and clumsy, thick-soled shoes.
8. "Why do you not join yonder group," asked Hope, “and partake in their gayety, my pretty little girl?” “Alas!" replied she, “they take no notice of me. They call me a child. But I shall soon be a woman, and then I shall be so happy!" Inspired by this hope, she quickened her pace, and soon was seen dancing along měrrily with the rest.
9. In this manner they wended their way, from nation to nation, and clime to clime, until they had made the circuit of the universe. Wherever they came, they found the human race, who at this time were all young (it being not many years since the first creation of mankind), repining at the present, and looking forward to a riper age for happiness. All anticipated some future good, and Memory had scarce any thing to do but cast looks of reproach at her young companion.
MEMORY AND HOPE.
10. “Let us return home,” said she, “ to that delightful spot where I first drew my breath. I lòng to repose among its beautiful bowers; to listen to the brooks that murmured a thousand times more musically; to the birds that sung a thousand times more sweetly; and to the echoes that were softer than
I have since heard. Ah! there is nothing on earth so enchanting' as the scenes of my early youth!”
105. MEMORY AND HOPE.
COPE indulged himself in a sly, significant smile, and they
proceeded on their return home. As they journeyed but slowly, many years elapsed ere they approached the spot from which they had departed. It so happened, one day, that they met an old man, bending under the weight of years, and walking with trembling steps, leaning on his staff.
2. Memory at once ręc'ognized him as the youth, they had seen going to school, on their first onset in the tour of the world. As they came nearer, the old man reclined on his staff, and looking at Hope, who, being immortal, was still a blīthe, young boy, sighed, as if his heart was breaking. “What aileth thee, old man ?" asked the youth.
3. “What aileth me?" he replied, in a feeble, faltering voice. “What should ail me, but old age? I have outlived my
health and strength ; I have survived all that was near and dear; I have seen all that I loved, or that loved me, struck down to the earth like dead leaves in autumn ; and now I stand like an old tree, withering, alone in the world, without roots, without branches, and without verdure. I have only just enough of sens to know that am miserable; and the recollection of the happinèss of my youthful days, when, carelèss, and full of blissful anticipations, I was a laughing, měrry boy, only adds to the miseries I now endure."
4. “Behold," said Memory, “the consequence of thy deceptions," and she looked reproachfully at her companion. “Behold!" replied Hope, “the deception practiced by thyself. Thou
· Enchanting, (en chinting), delighting in the highest degree ; captivating.
persuadést him that he was happy in his youth. Dost thou remember the boy we met when we first set out together, who was weeping on his way to school, and sighed to be a man?" Memory cast down her eyes, and was silent.
5. A little way onward, they came to a miserable cottage, at the door of which was an agèd woman, meanly clad, and shaking with palsy. She sat all alone, her head resting on her bosom, and, as the pair approached, vainly tried to raise it up to 'look at them. “Good morrow, old lady, and all happiness to you,” cried Hope, gayly ; and the old woman thought it was a long time since she had heard such a cheering salutation.
6. “Happiness!” said she, in a voice that quivered with weakress and infirmity. “Happiness! I have not known it since I was a little girl, without care or sorrow. Oh, I remember those delightful days, when I thought of nothing but the present moment, nor cared for the future or the past. When I laughed, and played, and sung, from morning till night, and envied no one, and wished to be no other than I was. But those happy times are passed, never to return. Oh, could I but once more return to the days of my
childhood !” 7. The old woman sunk back on her seat, and the tears flowed from her höllow eyes. Memory again reproached her companion, but he only asked her if she recollected the little girl they had met a long time ago, who was so miserable because she was so young? Memory knew it well enough, and said not another word.
8. They now approached their home, and Memory was on tiptoe, with the thought of once more enjoying the unequaled beauties of those scenes from which she had been so long separated. But somehow or other, it seemed that they were sadly changed. Neither the grass was so green, the flowers so sweet and lovely, nor did the brooks murmur, the echoes answer, nor the birds sing half so enchantingly, as she remembered them in time past.
9. “Alas!” she exclaimed, “how changed is everything! I ălone am the same.” Every thing is the same, and thou alone art changed," answered Hope. “Thou hast deceived thyself in the past, just as much as I deceive others in the future.”
· Palsy, (pål zi), a weakening, interruption, or destruction of the powers of the body, especially those of feeling and voluntary motion.
10. “What are you disputing about?" asked an old man, whom they had not observed before, though he was standing close by them. I have lived almost fourscore and ten
my experience may, perhaps, enable me to decido between you.” They told him the occasion of their disagreement, and related the history of their journey round the earth.
11. The old man smiled, and, for a few moments, sat buried n thought. He then said to them : “I, too, have lived to see all the hopes of my youth turn into shadows, clouds, and darkness, and vanish into nothing. I, too, have survived my fortune, my friends, my children ; the hilarity of youth, and the blessing of health." “ And dost thou not despair ?" said Memory. “No: I have still one hope left me.” " And what is that?" "The hope of heaven!”
12. Memory turned toward Hope, threw herself into his arms, which opened to receive her, and, bursting into tears, exclaimed: "Forgive me, I have done thee injustice. Let us never again separate from each other.” “With all my heart," said Hope, and they continued forever after to travel together, hand in hand, through the world. JAMES KIRKE PAULDING.
106. LOOK ALOTT.
N the tempest of life, when the wave and the gale
If thine eye should grow dim, and thy caution depart,“Look ălõft!" and be firm, and be fearless of heart.
2. If the friend who embraced in prosperity's glow,
With a smile for each joy, and a tear for each wõe,
"Look álõft” to the friendship which never shall fade. 3. Should the visions which hope spreads in light to thine eye,
Like the tints of the rainbow, but brighten to fly,
Hi lår i tŷ, a very pleasant excitement of the animal spirits; merri ment; joyfulness; gayety.