The Dead

We are haunted by the ghosts of idle hours passed, and guided by the spirits of hours well spent. Those of us who are strongest cannot rest without expending considerable labor; for the phantoms of the dead, whom we have set in motion and invited by our tendencies, abuse us always with petitions. Our souls are related by affinities, and our relatives have always some claim upon our time. I know, for instance, that the late authors whom I love are also my ancestors, and visit me often — particularly, the more obscure among them — if only to entreat me to make their names, their loves, and lessons known.

The Vision

A high wall had been erected around the Garden of Truth. It was agreed that, if each man supported another on his shoulders, then, the last man, who alone supported no one, would be in a position to see over the edge of the wall and, so, to share his vision with the rest. But when the highest man looked over, he was struck speechless by what he saw. Presently, he refused the honor to one more eloquent than himself, retreating to the bottom of the “ladder”, that another might look in his place. Yet, mysteriously, each man, in turn, became mute, and not one could be found with enough nerve to describe what he had seen. But, then, who would have understood him, anyway, apart from the men who had seen it themselves? Only when the last man peered over the wall was there no more need to impart the vision.