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"My Farm at Edgewood," "Seven Stories," "Wet Days at Edgewood," and "Plain Talks on Familiar Subjects." His works have usually been well received. His style is quiet, pure, and effective. In 1853, Mr. Mitchell received the appointment of United States consul at Venice. He is at present residing in the vicinity of New Haven.
11. INFLUENCE OF HOME.
OME gives a certain serenity to the mind, so that every thing is well defined, and in a clear atmosphere, and the lesser beauties brought out to rejoice in the pure glow which floats over and beneath them from the earth and sky. In this state of mind afflictions come to us chastened; and if the wrongs of the world cross us in our door-path, we put them aside without anger. Vices are about us, not to lure us away, or make us morose, but to remind us of our frailty and keep down our pride.
2. We are put into a right relation with the world; neither holding it in proud scorn, like the solitary man, nor being carried along by shifting and hurried feelings, and vague and carelèss notions of things, like the world's man. We do not take novelty for improvement, or set up vogue for a rule of conduct; neither do we despair, as if all great virtues had departed with the years gone by, though we see new vices and frailties taking growth in the very light which is spreading over the earth.
3. Our safest way of coming into communion with mankind is through our own household. For there our sorrow and regret at the failings of the bad are in proportion to our love, while our familiar intercourse with the good has a secretly assimilating influence upon our characters. The domestic man has an independence of thought which puts him at ease in society, and a cheerfulness and benevolence of feeling which seem to ray out from him, and to diffuse a pleasurable sense over those near him, like a soft, bright day.
4. As domestic life strengthens a man's virtue, so does it help to a sound judgment and a right balancing of things, and gives an integrity and propriety to the whole character. God, in his goodness, has ordained that virtue should make its own enjoyment, and that wherever a vice or frailty is rooted out, something should spring up to be a beauty and delight in its stead. But a man of character rightly cast, has pleasures at home,
which, though fitted to his highest nature, are common to him as his daily food; and he moves about his house under a continued sense of them, and is happy almost without heeding it.
5. Women have been called angels in love-tales and sonnets, till we have almost learned to think of angels as little better than women. Yet a man who knows a woman thoroughly, and loves her truly,—and there are women who may be so known and loved,—will find, after a few years, that his relish for the grösser pleasures is lessened, and that he has grown into a fondnèss for the intellectual and refined without an effort, and almost unawares.
6. He has been led on to virtue through his pleasures; and the delights of the eye, and the gentle play of that passion which is the most inward and romantic in our nature, and which keeps much of its character amidst the concerns of life, have held him in a kind of spiritualized existence: he shares his very being with one who, a creature of this world, and with something of the world's frailties,
Is yet a spirit still, and bright,
With something of an angel light.
With all the sincerity of a companionship of feeling, cares, sōrrows, and enjoyments, her presence is as the presence of a purer being, and there is that in her nature which seems to bring him nearer to a better world. She is, as it were, linked to angels, and in his exalted moments he feels himself held by the same tie.
7. In the ordinary affairs of life, a woman has a greater influence over those near her than a man. While our feelings are, for the most part, as retired as anchorites, hers are in play before us. We hear them in her varying voice; we see them in the beautiful and harmonious undulations of her movements-in the quick shifting hues of her face-in her eye, glad and bright, then fond and suffused; her frame is alive and active with what is at her heart, and all the outward form speaks.
8. She seems of a finer mold than we, and cast in a form of beauty, which, like all beauty, acts with a moral influence upon our hearts; and as she moves about us, we feel a movement within which rises and spreads gently over us, harmonizing us with her own. And can any man listen to this-can his eye, day after day, rest upon this-and he not be touched by it, and made better?
9. The dignity of a woman has its peculiar character; it awes more than that of man. His is more physical, bearing itself up with an energy of courage which we may brave, or a strength which we may struggle against: he is his own avenger, and we may stand the brunt. A woman's has nothing of this force in it; it is of a higher quality, and too delicate for mortal touch.
RICHARD HENRY DANA was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the 15th of November, 1787. He graduated at Harvard in 1807. He opened a law-office in Newport, R. I., in 1811, and became a member of the legislature; but his constitutional sensitiveness and feeble health compelled him to abandon his profession soon after. For two years, from 1818, he aided in editing the N. A. Review; and in 1821 began the publication of "The Idle Man," a periodical in which he communicated to the public his Tales and Essays. After the discon. tinuance of that paper, he wrote able articles for several of the best periodicals of the country. The first volume of his poems, containing "The Bucaneer,” was printed in 1827. An edition of his writings, in two volumes, was published in New York in 1850. Mr. DANA at present passes his time between his town residence at Boston and his country retirement at Cape Ann, where he can indulge in his love of nature. He is regarded always, by as many as have the honor of his acquaintance, with admiration and the most reverent affection. All of his writings belong to the permanent literature of the country, and yearly find more and more readers. They are distinguished for profound philosophy, simple sentiment, and pure and vigorous diction.
12. AN OLD HAUNT.
HE rippling water, with its drowsy tōne;
The tall elms, towering in their stately pride;
3. And for a while I stood as in a trance,
On that loved spot, forgetting toil and pain;
4. Again with giddy mates I careless played,
Or plied the quivering oar, on conquest bent:
I wooed the fair, and won the sweet consent.
5. But brief, alas! the spell; for suddenly
Pealed from the tower the old familiar chimes,
How bowed my care-worn frame, how dimmed my eye!
How quenched and dull Youth's aspirations high!
7. And in half mournful, half upbraiding host,
8. Then bowed the stubborn knees, as backward sped
Forced the remorseful tears their silent way.
9. Bitter, yet healing drops! in mercy sent,
Like soft dews falling on a thirsty plain,-
10. Strengthened, the task allotted to fulfill;
Calmed the thick-coming sorrows to endure;
11. For a sweet voice had whispered hope to me,— Had through my darkness shed a kindly ray : It said: "The past is fixed immutably,
Yet is there comfort in the coming day!"
13. THE WIDOW AND HER SON.
URING my residence in the country, I used frequently to attend at the old village church. Its shadowy aisles, its moldering monuments, its dark oaken panneling, all reverend with the gloom of departed years, seemed to fit it for the haunt
of solemn meditation. A Sunday, too, in the country, is so holy in its repose; such a pensive quiet reigns over the face of nature, that every restlèss passion is charmed down, and we feel all the natural religion of the soul gently springing up within us.
2. I do not pretend to be what is called a devout man, but there are feelings that visit me in a country church, ămidst the beautiful serenity of nature, which I experience nowhere else; and if not a more religious, I think I am a better man on Sunday than on any other day of the seven. But in this church I felt myself continually thrown back upon the world by the frigidity and pomp of the poor worms around me.
3. The only being that seemed thoroughly to feel the humble and prostrate piety of a true Christian, was a poor decrepit old woman, bending under the weight of years and infirmities. She bōre the traces of something better than abject poverty. The lingerings of decent pride were visible in her appearance. Her dress, though humble in the extreme, was scrupulously clean. Some trivial respect, too, had been awarded her, for she did not take her seat among the village poor, but sat alone on the steps of the altar.
4. She seemed to have survived all love, all friendship, all society, and to have nothing left her but the hopes of heaven. When I saw her feebly rising and bending her aged form in prayer,-habitually conning her prayer book, which her palsied hand and failing eyes could not permit her to read, but which she evidently knew by heart,-I felt persuaded that the faltering voice of that poor woman arose to heaven far before the responses of the clerk, the swell of the organ, or the chanting of the choir.
5. I am fond of loitering about country churches, and this was so delightfully situated, that it frequently attracted me. It stood on a knoll, round which a small stream made a beautiful bend, and then wound its way through a long reach of soft meadow scenery. The church was surrounded by yew-trees, which seemed almost coëval with itself. Its tall Gothic spire shot up lightly from among them, with rooks and crows generally wheeling about it.
6. I was seated there one still sunny morning, watching two laborers who were digging a grave. They had chosen one of the most remote and neglected corners of the church-yard,