At least, we compare our own with former times, and either rejoice at our improvements, or, what is the first motion towards good, discover our defects."
Captain Kent, of the Buffalo, speaking of a coral reef of many miles in extent, on the south-west coast of New Caledonia, observes, that "it is level with the water's edge, and towards the sea, as steep to as a wall of a house; that he sounded frequently within twice the ship's length of it with a line of one hundred and fifty fathoms, or nine hundred feet, without being able to reach the bottom."
Whatever knowledge I have of the quality of science, whatever will I have towards right, is of it; but if from without, from the reasoning or demonstration or reproof of some one else, there comes to me clear knowledge, clarified will, that also is as it were a part of my aristocratic self coming home to me from the outside.
January 20th.--I hinted at my ideas as to the evacuation of the city, and it has had an excellent effect.... There is a notable progress towards quiet in the city.
But towards an inanimate chattel even the most irritable of sane men can feel nothing like rage.
When their spirits are turned towards high aims they feel themselves compelled to contemplate war bravely, and to prepare their minds to it: "The man grows up, with manhood's nobler aims."
Cato, as we have seen, was not a follower of the Roman school of Stoicism, but of the older and uncompromising doctrine; but Cicero, though never a professed Stoic, was really deeply influenced, and towards the end of his life almost fascinated, by a creed which suited his humanity while it stimulated his instinct for righteousness.
Towards dark, having seen to the comfort of a household of kind, faithful fellow-beings, whom man in his vanity calls the lower animals, I went last to walk under the cedars in the front yard, listening to that music which is at once so cheery and so sad--the low chirping of birds at dark winter twilights as they gather in from the frozen fields, from snow-buried shrubbery and hedge-rows, and settle down for the night in the depths of the evergreens, the only refuge from their enemies and shelter from the blast.