category:Leisure puzzle


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    So, too, we may hope that when the fruits of our brief early season of three or four score years have given us all they can impart for our happiness; when "the love of little maids and berries," and all other earthly prettinesses, shall "soar and sing," as Mr. Emerson sweetly reminds us that they all must, we may hope that the abiding felicities of our later life-season may far more than compensate us for all that have taken their flight.
    Are the English taller, stouter, lustier, ruddier, healthier, than our New England people? If I gave my impression, I should say that they are. Among the wealthier class, tall, athletic-looking men and stately, well-developed women are more common, I am compelled to think, than with us. I met in company at different times five gentlemen, each of whom would be conspicuous in any crowd for his stature and proportions. We could match their proportions, however, in the persons of well-known Bostonians. To see how it was with other classes, I walked in the Strand one Sunday, and noted carefully the men and women I met. I was surprised to see how many of both sexes were of low stature. I counted in the course of a few minutes' walk no less than twenty of these little people. I set this experience against the other. Neither is convincing. The anthropologists will settle the question of man in the Old and in the New World before many decades have passed.


    1.After looking at the column of the Place Vend?me and recalling these lines of Barbier, I was ready for a visit to the tomb of Napoleon. The poet's curse had helped me to explain the painter's frenzy against the bronze record of his achievements and the image at its summit. But I forgot them both as I stood under the dome of the Invalides, and looked upon the massive receptacle which holds the dust of the imperial exile. Two things, at least, Napoleon accomplished: he opened the way for ability of all kinds, and he dealt the death-blow to the divine right of kings and all the abuses which clung to that superstition. If I brought nothing else away from my visit to his mausoleum, I left it impressed with what a man can be when fully equipped by nature, and placed in circumstances where his forces can have full play. "How infinite in faculty! ... in apprehension how like a god!" Such were my reflections; very much, I suppose, like those of the average visitor, and too obviously having nothing to require contradiction or comment.
    2.What does the reader suppose was the source of the most ominous thought which forced itself upon my mind, as I walked the decks of the mighty vessel? Not the sound of the rushing winds, nor the sight of the foam-crested billows; not the sense of the awful imprisoned force which was wrestling in the depths below me. The ship is made to struggle with the elements, and the giant has been tamed to obedience, and is manacled in bonds which an earthquake would hardly rend asunder. No! It was the sight of the boats hanging along at the sides of the deck,--the boats, always suggesting the fearful possibility that before another day dawns one may be tossing about in the watery Sahara, shelterless, fireless, almost foodless, with a fate before him he dares not contemplate. No doubt we should feel worse without the boats; still they are dreadful tell-tales. To all who remember Géricault's Wreck of the Medusa,--and those who have seen it do not forget it,--the picture the mind draws is one it shudders at. To be sure, the poor wretches in the painting were on a raft, but to think of fifty people in one of these open boats! Let us go down into the cabin, where at least we shall not see them.
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