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What a glorious gift is that of eloquent utterance! The lau. rels of the warrior are only achieved on the field of blood; the honors of the statesman depend on the fickle breath of the multitude; but the author-the creator-he who in the seclusion of his closet can commune with the sacred majesty of truth, whose oracles he has been chosen to interpret; he who can people the narrow limits of his solitary chamber with images of beauty; he who, amid the sands of worldliness, has found the “ diamond of the desert,” while its sweet waters are welling up in all their freshness and purity—what a noble power is his! And what a strange and mystic faculty is that which gives to “airy nothings” such shapes as make them seem, even to the coarse-minded worldling, like familiar friends; which imparts to unsubstantial dreams à visible and life-like presence; which invests the impalpable shadows of the brain with the attributes of humanity, and demands for these fairy creatures of the fancy our kindliest and warmest sympathy! What a godlike gift is that which enables the lonely student to sway the minds of myriads on whom his eye may never rest with a glance of friendly recognition; to move as if by one impulse the hearts of thousands; to stir up high and holy feelings in bosoms which the commerce of the world and the exigencies of life had chilled and hardened!
Yet it is with the mind as with the body; the exercise of our physical energies is delightful in proportion as it is the act of unfettered volition. The man who, in the sportiveness of health and spirits, will go into the woodland and make the strokes of his axe ring through the forest aisles, would find little pleasure in the same labor if necessity had driven him to become a hewer of wood. The well-trained dancer, whose lithe form moves to