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yet on any succeeding day during two or three months; but I took care when some exciting things happened,' be assured that you are in a good way.
Emerson closes his Conduct of Life with a striking allegory. The young Mortal enters the Hall of the Firmament. The Gods are sitting there, and he is alone with them. They pour on him gifts and blessings, and beckon him to their thrones. But between him and them suddenly appear snow-storms of illusions. He imagines himself in a vast crowd, whose behests he fancies he must obey. The mad crowd drives hither and thither, and sways this way and that. What is he that he should resist? He lets himself be carried about. How can he think or act for himself? But the clouds lift, and there are the Gods still sitting on their thrones; they alone with him alone. “The great man," he elsewhere
he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the serenity of solitude."
We may all, if we will, secure peace of mind for ourselves.
“Men seek retreats," says Aurelius,“ houses in the country, seashores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men; for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose, to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire, than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquillity.”
Happy indeed is he who has such a sanctuary in his own soul. “ He who is virtuous is wise; and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy.
But we cannot expect to be happy
· King Alfred's Boethirus.
if we do not lead pure and useful lives. To be good company for ourselves we must store our minds well; fill them with pure and peaceful thoughts; with pleasant memories of the past, and reasonable hopes for the future. We must, as far as may be, protect ourselves from self-reproach, from care, and from anxiety. We shall make our lives pure and peaceful, by resisting evil, by placing restraint upon our appetites, and perhaps even more by strengthening and developing our tendencies to good. We must be careful, then, on what we allow our minds to dwell. The soul is dyed by its thoughts; we cannot keep our minds pure if we allow them to be sullied by detailed accounts of crime and sin. Peace of mind, as Ruskin beautifully observes, “must come in its own time, as the waters settle themselves into clearness as well as quietness; you can no more filter your mind into purity than you can com. press it into calmness; you must keepitpure if
you would have it pure, and throw no stones into it if you would have it quiet.”
The penalty of injustice, said Socrates, is not death or stripes, but the fatal necessity of becoming more and more unjust. Few men have led a wiser or more virtuous life than Socrates himself, of whom Xenophon gives us the following description “To me, being such as I have described him, so pious that he did nothing without the sanction of the gods; so just, that he wronged no man even in the most trifling affair, but was of service in the most important matters to those who enjoyed his society; so temperate that he never preferred pleasure to virtue; so wise, that he never erred in distinguishing better from worse; needing no counsel from others, but being sufficient in himself to discriminate between them ; so able to explain and settle such questions by argument; and so capable of discerning the character of others, of confuting those who were in error, and of exhorting them to virtue and honour, he seemed to be such as the best and happiest of men would be. But if any one disapproves of my opinion let him compare the conduct of others with that of Socrates, and determine accordingly.”
Marcus Aurelius again has drawn for us a most instructive lesson in his character of Antoninus :-"Remember his constancy in every act which was conformable to reason, his evenness in all things, his piety, the serenity of his countenance, his sweetness, his disregard of empty fame, and his efforts to understand things; how he would never let anything pass without having first most carefully examined it and clearly understood it; how he bore with those who blamed him unjustly without blaming them in return; how he did nothing in a hurry; how he listened not to calumnies, and how exact anexaminer of manners and actions he