International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 6, August 5, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 116 pages of information about International Weekly Miscellany.

“If I felt that the circumstances of this hour, and the eloquent kindness which has enriched it, appealed for a response only to personal qualities, I should be too conscious of the poverty of such materials for an answer to attempt one; but the associations they suggest expand into wider circles than self impels, and while they teach me that this occasion is not for the indulgence of vanity, but for the cultivation of humble thankfulness, they impart a nobler significance to your splendid gift and to your delightful praise.  They remind me that my intellectual being has, from its first development, been nurtured by the partiality of those whom, living and dead, you virtually represent to-day; they concentrate the wide-spread instances of that peculiar felicity in my lot whereby I have been privileged to find aid, comfort, inspiration, and allowance in that local community amidst which my life began; and they invite me, from that position which once bounded my furthest horizon of personal hope, to live along the line of past existence; to recognize the same influence everywhere pervading it:  and to perceive how its struggles have been assisted; its errors softened down or vailed, and its successes enhanced, by the constant presence of home-born regards.  Embracing in a rapid glance the events of many years, I call to mind how at an early age—­earlier than is generally safe or happy for youths—­the incidents of life, supplying an unusual stimulus to ordinary powers, gave vividness to those dreams of human excellence and progress which, at some time, visit all; how by the weakness which precluded them from assuming those independent shapes which require the plastic force of higher powers, they became associated with the scenes among which they were cherished, and clove to them with earnest grasp; and how the fervid expressions which that combination prompted, were accepted by generous friends as indicating faculties ‘beyond the reaches of my soul,’ and induced them to encourage me by genial prophecies which, with unwearied purpose, they endeavored to fulfill.  I renew that golden season when such vague aspirations were at once cherished and directed by the Christian wisdom of the venerated master of Reading School—­who, during his fifty years of authority, made the name of our town a household word to successive generations of scholars, who honored him in all parts of the world, and all departments of society—­whose long life was one embodied charity—­and who gave steadiness and object to those impulses in me which else might have ended, as they began, in dreams.  I remember, when pausing on the slippery threshold of active life, and looking abroad on the desolate future, how the earnestness of my friends gave me courage, and emboldened me, with no patrons but themselves, to enter the profession of my choice by its most dim and laborious avenue, and to brace myself for four years of arduous pupilage; how they crowded with pleasures the intervals of holiday

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International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 6, August 5, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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