"Have a duty for every time, and you will have time for every duty." Avoid dream-land, and correct without mercy that habit of indolence which compels some men to float through life
- "As idly as a painted ship upon a painted ocean."
Under this earnest cultivation and discipline of the mind labour itself will be transmuted to pleasure, and the symbol of the curse will become the secret of the blessing : —
- "Labour is life! 'tis the still water faileth;
- Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth;
- Keep the watch wound, for the dark night assaileth;
- Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
- Labour is glory! The flying cloud lightens;
- Only the waving wing changes and brightens;
- Idle hearts only the dark future frightens;
- Play the sweet keys, wouldst thou keep them in tune."
Apollo, however, as we are told in classic song does not always keep his bow bent, and you too will require intervals of relaxation from professional studies and kindred pursuits. What your recreations ought to be I cannot attempt to define, but this I may say, that they should be selected as carefully and with as much self-introspection as your graver studies.
I wish I could indicate to you some manly exercise, not altogether foreign to your habits and customs, some noble game like that of cricket which elevates at once the moral and physical tone, which calls forth energy and promptitude, which, with muscular force develops judgment, watchfulness, endurance, courage, generous emulation, appreciation of the merits of others, manly acceptance of defeat and manly modesty of success. More battle fields than those of war have been gained on British cricket grounds. He who braces his muscles, braces his mind.
I gladly point out to you also the genuine pleasures which arise from the love and imitation of the beautiful in Nature and in Art. If we look abroad on this wondrous creation we cannot fail to recognize the beautiful in profusion around us. It is seen in the motions, forms and colours of the animal kingdom ; in the variety, grace and delicacy of the vegetable world ; in the massing, grouping and grandeur of the objects of inanimate creation. Beauty exists as an expression of the great Creator's mind and love, and would exist, even were there no human eye to welcome it.
Man, however, has been endowed with perceptions specially fitted for the contemplation, enjoymeut and imitation of all this beauty ; but as other powers of the mind require to be evoked and educated, so does the power of appreciating the beautiful.