When virtue and modesty enlighten her charms, the lustre of a beautiful woman is brighter than the stars of heaven, and the influence of her power it is in vain to resist.
How frail and ephemeral is the material substance of letters, which makes their very survival so hazardous. Print has a permanence of its own, though it may not be much worth preserving, but a letter! Conveyed by uncertain transportation, over which the sender has no control; committed to a single individual who may be careless or inappreciative; left to the mercy of future generations, of families maybe anxious to suppress the past, of the accidents of removals and house-cleanings, or of mere ignorance. How often it has been by the veriest chance that they have survived at all.
We read poetry because the poets, like ourselves, have been haunted by the inescapable tyranny of time and death; have suffered the pain of loss, and the more wearing, continuous pain of frustration and failure; and have had moods of unlooked-for release and peace. They have known and watched in themselves and others.
One receives as reward for much ennui, despondency, boredom --such as a solitude without friends, books, duties, passions must bring with it --those quarter-hours of profoundest contemplation within oneself and nature. He who completely entrenches himself against boredom also entrenches himself against himself: he will never get to drink the strongest refreshing draught from his own innermost fountain.
Most of us believe we can spot a drowning person when we see one. But we always make the mistake of thinking that drowning only involves what. believe it or not, you have missed quite a number of drowned and drowning people. Some of us are thought to save some one drowning in water, most of us can spot that too, but none of us has been thought to see the other kinds of drowners, nor how to save them.