Page:Letters of Life.djvu/153

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141
SOCIAL AMUSEMENTS MENTAL PLEASURES.

tions, instead of smothering it with the froth and ephemera 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 Johnson, it became almost pompous in diction, with aphorisms 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 Banquo." 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 before 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 cypress, or its spray of evergreen, for the wreath of memory. 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.