Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/200

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arduous labour, is not immediately, or distinctly visible. A friend of the great [151]

Michael Angelo, saw him one day, at work upon a statue. Long afterward, he called, and it was yet unfinished.

"Have you been idle?"

"Ah, no. I have retouched here, and polished there. I have softened this feature, and brought that muscle forth in bolder relief. I have given more expression to the lip, more grace and energy to the form."

"Still these are but trifles."

"It may be so. But recollect that trifles make perfection, though perfection itself is no trifle."

The sculptor upon his dead marble, ought not to surpass in patience, us, who fashion the living image, and whose work is upon the "fleshly tables of the heart." Can we keep too strongly in view, the imperishable nature, the priceless value of those for whom we toil? In every child, there is an endless history. Compare the annals of the most boasted nation, with the story of one unending existence: has not our Saviour already shown the result, in his parallel between the gain of the whole world, and the loss of one soul? Assyria stretched out its colossal limbs, and sank ignobly, like the vaunting champion, on the plains of Elah. Egypt came up proudly, with temple, and labyrinth, and pyramid, but fell down manacled at the feet of the Turk. Greece,