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CHIRP THE FIRST. The winter of 1878 was certainly an unusually dreary one, and so thought a remarkably fine young Blackbird, as he perched one morning on the bare bough of a spreading lime-tree, whose last brown leaf had fallen to the ground some weeks before. With the exception of the Scotch firs and other fortunate evergreens, there was nothing to be seen on all sides but leafless branches standing out sharply against the cold, grey sky.... more...

THE PRINCIPLE Would you find that wonderful life supernal,That life so abounding, so rich, and so free?Seek then the laws of the Spirit Eternal,With them bring your life into harmony. How can I make life yield its fullest and best? How can I know the true secret of power? How can I attain to a true and lasting greatness? How can I fill the whole of life with a happiness, a peace, a joy, a satisfaction that is ever rich and abiding, that ever... more...

VERSE AND PROSE FOR BEGINNERS IN READING. ALPHABET. A was an apple-pie;B bit it;C cut it;D dealt it;E ate it;F fought for it;G got it;H had it;J joined it;K kept it;L longed for it:M mourned for it;N nodded at it;O opened it;P peeped into it;Q quartered it;R ran for it;S stole it;T took it;V viewed it;W wanted it;X, Y, Z, and amperse-and,All wished for a piece in hand. A DEWDROP. Little drop of dew,  Like a gem you are;I believe... more...

INTRODUCTION. The young are often accused of being thoughtless, rash, and unwilling to be advised. That the former of these charges is in a great measure just, is not denied. Indeed, what else could be expected? They are thoughtless, for they are yet almost strangers to the world, and its cares and perplexities. They are forward, and sometimes rash; but this generally arises from that buoyancy of spirits, which health and vigor impart. True, it... more...

LETTER I. CONTENTMENT. It is, perhaps, only the young who can be very hopefully addressed on the present subject. A few years hence, and your habits of mind will be unalterably formed; a few years hence, and your struggle against a discontented spirit, even should you be given grace to attempt it, would be a perpetually wearisome and discouraging one. The penalty of past sin will pursue you until the end, not only in the pain caused by a... more...


Some Preliminary Remarks LADIES and Gentlemen: I do not want to be seen in this lecture. I want to be heard. I am only the delivery wagon. When the delivery wagon comes to your house, you are not much interested in how it looks; you are interested in the goods it brings you. You know some very good goods are sometimes delivered to you in some very poor delivery wagons. So in this lecture, please do not pay any attention to the delivery... more...

One day in early spring, a young reed-warbler sat in a bush in Italy and hung his beak. This was not because he really had anything to complain of. The sun was shining; there were flies in plenty; and no one was doing him harm. A little while before, a pretty girl, with jet-black eyes, had sat under the bush and listened to his song and kissed her hand to him. And yet he wanted something. He was tired of the Italian flies. He had a feeling in... more...

I - ALL MEANS AND NO END I The plain man on a plain day wakes up, slowly or quickly according to his temperament, and greets the day in a mental posture which might be thus expressed in words: "Oh, Lord! Another day! What a grind!" If you ask me whom I mean by the plain man, my reply is that I mean almost every man. I mean you. I certainly mean me. I mean the rich and the poor, the successful and the unsuccessful, the idle and the diligent,... more...

IThe Majesty of Calmness Calmness is the rarest quality in human life. It is the poise of a great nature, in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is the moral atmosphere of a life self-centred, self-reliant, and self-controlled. Calmness is singleness of purpose, absolute confidence, and conscious power,--ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crisis. The Sphinx is not a true type of calmness,--petrifaction is not calmness; it is... more...

'RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI'           At the hole where he went in          Red-Eye called to Wrinkle-Skin.          Hear what little Red-Eye saith:          'Nag, come up and dance with death!'... more...