February 18

DO the work that’s nearest,
Though it’s dull at whiles,
Helping, when we meet them,
Lame dogs over styles;
See in every hedgerow
Marks of angels’ feet,
Epics in each pebble
Underneath our feet.
Charles Kingsley

LET him who gropes painfully in darkness and uncertain light, and prays vehemently that dawn may ripen into day, lay this other precept well to heart, which to me was of invaluable service: “Do the duty which lies nearest thee,” which thou knowest to be a duty! Thy second duty will already have become clearer.
Thomas Carlyle

THERE are few that rove to find some ampler lot abroad, who do not first neglect the small husbandry of duty at home.
James Martineau



July 27

BE it not mine to steal the cultured flower
From any garden of the rich and great,
Nor seek with care, through many a weary hour,
Some novel form of wonder to create.
Enough for me the leafy woods to rove,
And gather simple cups of morning dew,
Or, in the fields and meadows that I love,
Find beauty in their bells of every hue.
Thus round my cottage floats a fragrant air,
And though the rustic plot be humbly laid,
Yet, like the lilies gladly growing there,
I have not toil’d, but take what God has made.
My Lord Ambition pass’d and smiled in scorn;
I pluck’d a rose, and lo! it had no thorn.
G. J. Romanes

WE shall be made truly wise if we be made content; content, too, not only with what we can understand, but content with what we do not understand,—the habit and mind which theologians call, and rightly, faith in God.
Charles Kingsley

STRUGGLING against inevitable results which he cannot control, too often man is heedless of those accessible pleasures, whose amount is by no means inconsiderable when collected together. Stretching out his hand to catch the stars, he forgets the flowers at his feet.
Jeremy Bentham