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at all times hazardous, becomes ridiculous in the topics of ordinary conversation. There remains but one other point of distinction possible; and this must be, and in fact is, the true cause of the impression made on us. It is the unpremeditated and evidently habitual arrangement of his words, grounded on the habit of foreseeing, in each integral part, or (more plainly) in every sentence, the whole that he ther intends to communicate. However irregular and desultory his talk, there is METHOD in the fragments.
Listen, on the other hand, to an ignorant man, though perhaps Ahrewd and able in his particular calling; whether he be describing or relating. We immediately perceive that his memory alone is called into action, and that the objects and events recur in the narra tion in the same order, and with the same accompaniments, however accidental or impertinent, as they had first occurred to the narrator. The necessity of taking breath, the efforts of recollection, and the abrupt rectification of its failures, produce all his pauses, and, with the exception of the "and then," the "and there," and the still less significant" and so," they constitute likewise all his connections. Our discussion, however, is confined to method, as employed in the formation of the understanding and in the constructions of science and literature. It would, indeed, be superfluous to attempt a proof of its importance in the business and economy of active or domestic life. From the cotter's hearth, or the workshop of the artisan, to the palace, or the arsenal, the first merit, that which admits neither substitute nor equivalent, is, that everything is in its place. Where this charm is wanting, every other merit either loses its name or becomes an additional ground of accusation and regret. Of one by whom it is eminently possessed, we say proverbially he is like clock-work. The resemblance extends beyond the point of regularity, and yet falls short of the truth. Both do, indeed, at once divide and announce the silent and otherwise indistinguishable lapse of time. But the man of methodical industry and honorable pursuits does more: he realizes its ideal divisions, and gives a character and individuality to its moments. If the idle are described as killing time, he may be justly said to call it into life and moral being, while he makes it the distinct object not only of the consciousness, but of the conscience. He organizes the hours, and gives them a soul; and that, the very essence of which is to fleet away, and evermore to have been, he takes up into his own permanence, and communicates to it the imperishableness of a spiritual nature. Of the good and faithful servant whose energies, thus directed, are thus methodized, it is less truly affirmed that he lives in time than that time lives in him. His days, months, and years, as the stops and punctual marks in the records of cuties per formed, will survive the wreck of worlds, and remain extant wher time itself shall be no more.
ROBERT SOUTHEY. 1774-1843. (Manual, pp. 427-431.)
308. THE Battle of BleNHEIM.'
It was a summer evening,
Old Kaspar's work was done,
She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round,
In playing there, had found;
He came to ask what he had found,
Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,
And with a natural sigh,
""Tis some poor fellow's skull," said he,
"I find them in the garden,
For there's many here about;
The ploughshare turns them out!
"Now tell us what 'twas all about,"
And what they killed each other for."
"It was the English," Kaspar cried,
But everybody said," quoth he,
"That 'twas a famous victory.
1 A battle fought near the village of Blenheim, Bavaria, August 2, 1704, in which the English Duke of Marlborough gained a victory over the French and Bavarians. It is called by the French the Battle of Hochstedt.
Mild arch of promise! on the evening sky
When lo! the voice of loud alarm
He rose in haste- beneath the walls
He saw the flood appear;
It hemmed him round-'twas midnight now—
No human aid was near.
Sudden Lord William heard a cry,
'The boatman paused—“Methought I heard
""Twas but the howling winds of night," Lord William made reply.