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“ Fast, fast it fleeteth, even as a dream, human life away.”
A DAY AT THORNLEY HALL.
“Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught !
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Each burning deed and thought."
Our Atlantic excursion had greatly lessened the interval that should subsist ere we set out for Cambridge. Still, as the period approached, my uncle became more and more averse to the idea of losing us even for a time. He was one of those rare individuals however,
who seldom or never allowed their inclinations to interfere with their convictions of duty; and much as he desired our society, a wish that was every way reciprocated, it never induced him to postpone the day of our departure. Every preparation went on the same nothing could possibly intervene to render it of no effect.
“Just fourteen days, my children," he observed, for thus he commonly addressed us, “ intervene ere you leave for Cambridge. I found the time sadly long during your marine excursion, but this absence must be of still greater continuance.”
6 What, if we were to remain where we are,” said Perkins; “ I'll warrant we'll not lag behind in any desirable acquirement.”
“ I feel assured of that,” replied my uncle ; “fully certain am I, whether you go or whether you stay, that nothing shall be omitted of those things the acquisition of which renders a man conspicuous among his fellows. I have no partiality for public schools or a college life ; with much that is good, these institutions contain a great deal that is indifferent, not to say positively bad. They are a counterpart therefore, so much the more faithful, of the world we live in-its vices, follies, its redeeming virtues and its excellencies. We cannot so readily realize in seclusion, the advances of
which we are capable: we might grow into • correct automatons, but should probably fail to display many of the generous impulses, much of the self-devotion and manly promptitude so desirable in the various contingencies of life. If one could live for ever, in the company of those we loved; free from contact with the busy, bustling, and too frequently, vicious elements of society, then, isolation were my choice. Neither the world we live in however, our own destination, nor the exigencies of society, permit this. I am therefore, perhaps erroneously,