Page:Letters of Life.djvu/153

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SOCIAL AMUSEMENTS MENTAL PLEASURES. Ill

tions, instead of smothering it with the froth and ephem- era of trifling events, it seemed to yield me a sort of reciprocity, and minister to mental elevation. Indeed, at one time, especially while reading the works of John- son, it became almost pompons in diction, with aphor- isms on the follies and vanities of life better fitted to maturity than girlhood. In process of time the habit became a part of my existence, and the single volume multiplied like the " line of Banqno. By the aid of these many books I can now, when I choose, retrace

" As in a map, the voyager his course, The windings of my way, for many years."

It sometimes interests me to search out for the passing day, its genealogy through half a century. Turning the manuscript pages, it stands with its fifty sisters be- fore me, like the daughters of Danaus. Each bears its burden of change, its garland of hope — pointing silently to its felicity of progress, or its sum of error and of loss. Each knits into the web of life a slender thread of gold, or sable. Each brings its budding rose, its leaf of cy- press, or its spray of evergreen, for the wreath of mem- ory. All, as they fleet away again to the dreamy past, demand praise for the Preserver, whose " mercies are new every morning, and fresh every moment.

The pleasures of written thought into which I had been early initiated, revealed themselves more fully

after the removal to our new habitation.

7

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