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never knew, and never shall know, a worse man than myself.

I believe that what so saddens the reformer is not his sympathy with
his fellows in distress, but, though he be the holiest son of God, is
his private ail. Let this be righted, let the spring come to him, the
morning rise over his couch, and he will forsake his generous
companions without apology. My excuse for not lecturing against
the use of tobacco is, that I never chewed it, that is a penalty which
reformed tobacco-chewers have to pay; though there are things
enough I have chewed which I could lecture against. If you should
ever be betrayed into any of these philanthropies, do not let your left
hand know what your right hand does, for it is not worth knowing.
Rescue the drowning and tie your shoestrings. Take your time, and
set about some free labor.

Our manners have been corrupted by communication with the saints.
Our hymn-books resound with a melodious cursing of God and
enduring Him forever. One would say that even the prophets and
redeemers had rather consoled the fears than confirmed the hopes of
man. There is nowhere recorded a simple and irrepressible
satisfaction with the gift of life, any memorable praise of God. All
health and success does me good, however far off and withdrawn it
may appear; all disease and failure helps to make me sad and does
me evil, however much sympathy it may have with me or I with it.
If, then, we would indeed restore mankind by truly Indian, botanic,
magnetic, or natural means, let us first be as simple and well as
Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our own brows,
and take up a little life into our pores. Do not stay to be an overseer
of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the

I read in the Gulistan, or Flower Garden, of Sheik Sadi of Shiraz,
that "they asked a wise man, saying: Of the many celebrated trees
which the Most High God has created lofty and umbrageous, they
call none azad, or free, excepting the cypress, which bears no fruit;
what mystery is there in this? He replied: Each has its appropriate
produce, and appointed season, during the continuance of which it is
fresh and blooming, and during their absence dry and withered; to
neither of which states is the cypress exposed, being always
flourishing; and of this nature are the azads, or religious
independents.- Fix not thy heart on that which is transitory; for the
Dijlah, or Tigris, will continue to flow through Bagdad after the race
of caliphs is extinct: if thy hand has plenty, be liberal as the date
tree; but if it affords nothing to give away, be an azad, or free man,
like the cypress."


Thou dost presume too much, poor needy wretch, To claim a station
in the firmament Because thy humble cottage, or thy tub, Nurses
some lazy or pedantic virtue In the cheap sunshine or by shady
springs, With roots and pot-herbs; where thy right hand, Tearing
those humane passions from the mind, Upon whose stocks fair
blooming virtues flourish, Degradeth nature, and benumbeth sense,
And, Gorgon-like, turns active men to stone.

We not require the dull society Of your necessitated temperance, Or
that unnatural stupidity That knows nor joy nor sorrow; nor your
forc’d Falsely exalted passive fortitude Above the active. This low
abject brood, That fix their seats in mediocrity, Become your servile
minds; but we advance such virtues only as admit excess, Brave,
bounteous acts, regal magnificence, All-seeing prudence,
magnanimity That knows no bound, and that heroic virtue For which
antiquity hath left no name, But patterns only, such as Hercules,
Achilles, Theseus. Back to thy loath’d cell; And when thou seest the
new enlightened sphere, Study to know but what those worthies
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