In town and country, the coming of spring changes the general appearance of affairs. Not early nature, but men change. There is no longer the cold and frigid countenance. Men do not walk with quick and measured tread, but pass carelessly, easily along, as though it was a luxury and not a task to walk. Children are seen in little companies, plucking the flowers and forcing the buds from their stems, as though to punish them for their tardiness.
The very beasts of burden and of the field partake of the general joy; as Thomson says, “Nor undelighted by the boundless spring Are the broad monsters of the foaming deep From the deep ooze and, gelid cavern roused, They flounce and tumble in unwieldy joy.”
In the town storekeepers obtain fresh supplies of goods; the mechanic contracts new jobs; the merchant repairs his vessel, and sends it forth, deeply freighted with the productions of our own clime, to far distant, lands; and the people generally brush up, and have the appearance of being a number of years younger than they were a month since.
In the country, the farmer is full of work. The ploughs are brought forth from their winter quarters, the earth is opened, that the warm sun and refreshing rains may prepare it for use; old fences are repaired, and new ones made; the housewife brushes up inside and out, and with the aid of the whitewash every old fence and shed is made clean and pleasing to the eye.
Welcome spring, a hearty welcome to thee! Touch the cheek of the maiden, and make it as bright as the rose; with thy fresh air give health to the sick and joy to the downcast. Thou bringest with thee sweet-smelling flowers, and the birds of the woods carol forth thy welcome.
One word for humanity. One word for those who dwell in want around us. O, ye who know not what it is to hunger, and have naught to meet your desire; ye who never are cold, with naught to warm your chilled blood, forget not those who endure all these things. They are your brethren. They are of the same family as yourself, and have a claim’ upon your love, your sympathy, your kindness.
Live not for yourselves. The world needs to learn this lesson. Mankind have to learn that only as they bless others are they themselves blest. It was the fine thought of the good Indian, Wah-pan-nah, that man should not pile up his dollars,—they may fall down and crush him,—but spread them out.
“There be dark spot on you brother’s path,—go lay dollar there and make it bright,” said he.
And since that suggestion came we have thought it over and over, and have found it a text for a lifetime of goodness. Go place the bright dollar in the poor man’s hand, and the good you do will be reflected in rays of gratitude from a smiling face, and fall on you like the warm sunshine, to cheer and refresh and strengthen your own soul.