A Soft Answer

‘A Soft Answer Turneth Away Wrath.’ – We were the other day, forcibly struck with the truth and wisdom of these words of holly writ. An acquaintance of ours, who by the way, is possessed of great physical and moral courage, but from principle is opposed to fighting, was assailed by the most bitter and opprobrious language, by one who, from some cause or other, felt himself aggrieved by him. Our acquaintance, instead of replying by a blow, as nine out of ten would have done, mildly denied the justness of such abuse, and asked the cause of the insulting language. An explanation followed. The assailant acknowledged his error and asked pardon for his violent and improper conduct. “A soft answer” produced an effect that blows could not have brought about – a complete victory over the mind and heart of the wrong doer. – Pittsburg Chronicle.


Industry, temperance, and honesty

Industry, temperance, and honesty are the noblest attributes of human character; yet how rarely do we find these qualities possessed by those who “lord it” over the poor and humble mechanic?


A Banquet More Sweet and Refreshing

He that clothes the poor, clothes his own soul. He that sweetens the cup of affliction, sweetens his own heart. He that feeds the hungry spreads out a banquet more sweet and refreshing than luxury can bestow.


Charity and Drones

Charity has been expressed by the emblem of a naked child giving honey to a bee without wings. Beautiful as the simile appears, a certain writer thinks an addition might be made, by supposing the child “holding a whip in his hand, to drive away the drones.” Not an inaccurate thought.



Compassion is an emotion of which we ought never to be ashamed. Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe. We should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, rap us up in selfish enjoyment; but we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.



Charity never multiplies feuds, nor fosters enmities; and the experience of all ages proves that persecution, whatever form it may assume, or in whatever garb it may appear never succeeds in making proselytes.

—Dr. Fellows.


Pretensions to Goodness

Everybody’s Corner

Dear Voice. – Agreeable to promise I write you again this week and submit a few thoughts on jugglery. I could not but think how innocent a kind of deception was the performance. He notified the audience that he intended to please, amuse and deceive them. How different from the deceptions usually practiced. The professions of honesty often awake suspicion.

You are very ill says the quack. Your liver, or your lungs are decaying; you must have immediate relief, or serious consequences will be the result. I would not bear such insult, says the lawyer, you can and ought to have redress – and then he draws them into the meshes. Poor man! he finds but little justice in the law.

Friendship has its deceivers – the kindest hearts the world ever saw, has often, too often, felt the cold return of a kind warm devotion, “like Alpine streams of ‘bitter woes flow back on the bleeding heart. Often have our hearts bled to feel the cold return of a loving, pure spirit, which has been given with the purest motives of which the heart is capable. Nor is the worst feature of deception in social life. The heart is often made to feel a purer, holier emotion. It is called forth by words and deeds with as little sincerity as the most depraved are capable of. If there is one deception more to be fear than another, it is this. If there is a sin which should draw down upon the dead of the offender the just indignation of God and man, it is that which would call forth the deep, pure devotion of woman’s love, to crush to treat light.

The religious, too, are guilty of deception. The minister, poor man, has received a call to leave his well beloved flock to the wolves, it may be – he “can be more useful” somewhere else. He laments the call of Heaven, and would not be induced by any worldly consideration to leave them. Look out for deception, he is offered a larger salary, or else wants you to offer him more. He would not preach, without a good fat living were made by it, if his dear people went to perdition.

Thus the world is deceived by such hollow pretensions to goodness, and made to distrust the honesty of all men. We do not wonder the present state of society is so alive to deceivers and deception. We hope there are some who are true, honest-hearted. It will not be those, however, who make the greatest pretensions.


Boston Sept. 23, 1846



It is truly surprising to witness the eagerness with which men engage in lawsuits, without inquiring the why or wherefore. It is true that men, under the influence of sudden passions, easily find evil counsellors, who hurry them on with what they call legal advice, and before they take time to reflect, the lawyer has charged for advice, write, &c. and the sheriff has a bill for fees.

On reflection, the man regrets that he has commenced an action against his neighbor, but he is not willing to pay costs, and the neighbor is angry; so instead of stopping it, they allow it to go into court, let costs accumulate, and one or both are ruined. There are too many evil counselors among lawyers, for the good of community; and the only way in which this can be accounted for is, that law business is overdone, and those just entering it are compelled, in too many justices, to adopt the motto, “rascality or starvation.”

If men understood their own interests, were willing to do as they would be done by, or refer their difficulties to their neighbors, how much misery and poverty might be avoided – how many angry passions quelled. It is not often that men obtain justice by engaging in law, nor can it be expected that juries, forced to attend courts at a sacrifice of money, will thoroughly investigate every matter which may be brought before them. They soon become tired, and are anxious to get home; and it is often the case that late at night verdicts are rendered which are wholly unjust. We saw it stated a short time since, that a judge kept a jury locked up three days and nights, and compelled them to agree. They agreed; but it must have been evident to all concerned that their verdict was brought about by unjust means. The simple fact that Daniel Webster will win a case where a less eloquent pleader would lose it, shows plainly that law is not always justice.

—Weekly Mess


Suing for Damages

“Hallo, Shar,” said Pop, meeting him the other day in the street, “you hobble my boy; what’s the matter with you?”

“Oh, I had my feet crushed through the carelessness of a conductor, the other day, between the cars, that’s all.”

“And don’t you mean to sue for damages?”

“Damages? No, no; I have had damages enough from them already – hadn’t I better sue for repairs.”


Deceiving as Just

The World as it is. – In this world men thrive in villainy; and lying and deceiving are accounted just and to be rich is to be wise, and tyranny is honorable; and though little thefts and petty mischiefs are interrupted by the laws, yet if a mischief became public and great, acted by princes and effected by armies, and robberies be done by whole fleets, it is virtue and it is glory.



Genius of Rich Men

Most of our countrymen are familiar with the history of William Gray, Stephen Gerard, and John Jacob Astor – all of whom present examples of what superior genius and judgment, directed to a single pursuit can accomplish in the course of a short life.

—Democratic Review

That these gentlemen possessed some good qualities we don’t deny; but if either genius or judgment had been among them, they would never have sacrificed themselves to the wretched business of accumulating for the mere sake of counting their millions. We don’t consider such examples either honourable to our institutions or useful to our country. We would give more for an open-hearted, open-pursed working man, never above the necessity of work and always, like Markley Tapley, too jolly in it, than for a thousand of our John Jacobs. We venture to say that ninety-nine hundredths of the real benefits conferred upon our country have come from poor men.



The Wolf’s Compassion

For the Voice

Fables Translated from the German of Lessing

A shepherd by means of a terrible pestilence, had lost his entire flock. The wolf learned this, and came to offer his condolence.

Shepherd, said he, is it true that so cruel a misfortune has befallen thee? Art thou of they whole flock deprived? The dear innocent fat flock! I am pained and could shed bloody tears.

Thank you, master wolf, replied the shepherd, I see thou hast a very compassionate heart.

That he has indeed, added Hylax, the shepherd’s dog, when under the misfortunes of his neighbors he also suffers.


Neighbour’s Keeper

Every man certainly has a right to live, and the duty of every just man is, to let him live. Blessed be the day, if come it ever should, when man will learn that his own true prosperity is essentially involved in the prosperity of his neighbor.


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