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You may You may
As far as possible, let there be no waste in life, as there is none in Nature. There are many ways in which a man may achieve a masterly inactivity. You may be silent when others speak. You may be solitary when others are in company. refuse to see people in the morning. always have a cigar or a novel after dinner. You may resolve never to do any work after the curfewbell. You will travel first class as well for ease as for company.
You will insist that your space of life shall have park and flowers, as well as pavement and cabbage - garden. You will beware of sudden abnormal effort, relying rather on steady careful work. Rest is a true element in good workmanship. I know a remarkably able and fertile reviewer who tells me that though over his midnight oil he can lucubrate articles with a certain sharpness and force, yet for quietly looking at a subject all round, and doing justice to all its belongings, he wanted the quiet morning hours. Lancelot Andrewes says that he is no true scholar who goes out of his house before twelve o'clock. Similarly an editor once told me that though his town contributors sent him the brightest papers, he always detected a peculiar mellowness and finish about the men who wrote in the country I knew an important Crown official whose hours were from ten to three. He had to sign his name to papers; and as a great deal depended upon his signature, he was very cautious and chary how he gave it.
After three o'clock struck, no beseeching powers of suitors or solicitors could induce him to do a stroke of work. He would not contaminate the quality of his work by doing too much of it. He would not impair his rest by continuing his work. And so he fulfilled the duties of his office for exactly fifty years before he retired on full pay from the service of the country. And when impatient people blame lawyers for being slow, and offices for closing punctually, and shops for shutting early, and, generally speaking, the wider adaptations of our day to periods of holidays and rest, they should recollect that these things are the lessons of experience and the philosophy of society and life.
It is so hard when you are in a generalising humour quite to strike the balance; and, as a rule, a generalisation presents only a half truth. I have spoken of rest when I ought perhaps to have been severe on laziness. A very acute writer was once talking to me about the writings of St. Augustine. He told ine that this very prolific author advocated, with great earnestness and ability, two sets of opinions; but that it had, apparently, never occurred to St. Augustine to examine how these different sets of opinions were related, and to perceive that they were inconsistent. However, I steer between antagonisms when I urge, that only he who
works can rest, and that rest is nothing without work. So to speak, there is the centripetal influence by which we avoid work, and the centrifugal influence by which we are driven to work; and between the two we probably describe exactly that curve of orbit which we were intended to fulfil. Of course, rest is mainly for the sake of work. A wise man will rather wear out than rust out, considering that he must work while it is day, and that there is all eternity wherein to rest. But still we may have 'a central peace subsisting at the heart of endless agitation, a restfulness of heart which sweetens work, and alone makes it prosperous.
A cynical statesman once said that life would be very tolerable if it were not for its amusements; but amusement implies rest, and without rest life would be intolerable—impossible. A wise man will lay it up as treasure and economise its stores.
Winter Quarters for Invalids.
S November comes round with its wan sunsets
and watery skies, dense fogs and chilly mists, the fragile human exotics begin to wear anxious looks, and shiver like the sere, tossed leaves of autumn. It is melancholy to think to how many hundred thousands in this country the winter climate is a matter of surpassing interest. Consumption, which does not leave the sunniest clime unvisited, is more especially the scourge of this country, the deathrate from this family of diseases being of appalling magnitude. We naturally suppose that the rich can fight the battle against the encroachments of these maladies with many more advantages than the poor can do. There is something in this, but by no means to the exaggerated extent that is ordinarily supposed It would be sad to think that in such a life-anddeath struggle the possession of wealth should confer an enormously preponderating advantage. The two items of the assumed superiority are diet and change of air. Now, if the poor can obtain food sufficiently pure and abundant, I do not think that a medical advantage rests with the complex luxuries of the rich, rather than with the plain wholesome diet of
The smallest knowledge of physiology would show the mistake of supposing that the more meat a man eats, the stronger he necessarily becomes. Meat goes to make up some constituent element of the body, but is inoperative in respect to others, and only indirectly affects the balance of health. Then, in respect to change of air: if the poor cannot at will move about the shores of the Mediterranean, they may have the more thorough and total change that is afforded by emigration. I am not one of those who fear that we incur by emigration any real peril of draining the resources of a nation in the men, its best treasures. Such emigrations are both a natural and a divine law; the social squares, that seemed broken by such gaps, are soon rearranged. It is delightful to think of families, who obtain a scanty and precarious subsistence, in dense, noisome, overcrowded neighbourhoods, passing almost, as it were, into another existence--into some good land and large, of peace and plenty, where they may know that the earth is really their own, to subdue and till ; and, if they so will, they may literally sit under the shade of their own vine and fig-tree. Some countries which most invite emigration offer extraordinary climatic benefits. Other regions may proffer equal