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« IT WILL BE ALL THE SAME A HUNDRED YEARS
(Translated from the German.) This was the favorite expression of my father's old gardener. He was a remarkably quiet and contented old man. I do not remember ever having seen him out of temper; and when anything happened which disconcerted him, he comforted himself by the thought, “ It will be all the same a hundred years hence.” If he unintentionally gave any one offence, (which, however, he was very careful to guard against,) and was angrily reproved, instead of replying in the same manner, his usual answer was in his favorite proverb-"I am very sorry; but it will be all the same a hundred years hence. In this way, also, he consoled himself when the fruit of a young apple tree, which he had watched with great care, proved to be only a crab, and not a golden pippin, as he had supposed; when the cook, too, was angry with him because the green peas were not ready by the time she wanted them; and when thieves broke into his house, and stole almost all his possessions.
On one occasion of this kind, when my father was standing near the old man, in the greenhouse, and heard him make use of this often repeated expression, he said to him
“ Antony, that consoling reflection must save you a great many unpleasant feelings during the year.”
“ Yes, indeed, sir, it does,” he replied ; “but, like other good medicines, it will not do for all persons on all occasions. Last winter, when I had the rheumatism, you sent the doctor to me, and he did me so much good that I am now quite well; but to a person in a fever the medicine I took would not have been of the least use."
“ Very likely," replied my father ; “but what has that to do with your favorite proverb ?"
Gardener.--Oh, sir, you surely must understand better than I can tell you, but my meaning is just this,—the expression is very good when something unpleasant has happened which is not our own fault, and which we cannot alter ; but it is not right to try to comfort ourselves by the thought when we have neglected any duty, however trifling. For instance, the peas I certainly thought would be ready by your birth-day, but the weather was unfavorable, I could not make them grow, and I therefore told Susan it was of no use to be angry about a thing we could not alter. · My Father. You are quite right; and you remind me of a remark I have read, I cannot exactly remember where. There are two kinds of annoyances about which a wise man will not allow himself to be troubled—those which he can help, and those which he cannot; the first he will avoid, and the second bear with patience.
Gardener.— Yes, sir, that is what I think, and when we meet with such trifling annoyances, if, instead of giving way to temper, we stand still for a moment and enquire—what consequence it will be a hundred years hence- the thought will be as likely to calm our spirits as the medicine I took, to cure my rheumatism.
My Father. --You are right, Antony; and, notwithstanding it is said with truth that our present life is one of sorrow, and that this world is a valley of tears, much more, I think, depends on the state of our own minds, than on outward circumstances, whether prosperity or adversity attends us : more than half the unhappiness the children of men suffer arises from miserable trifles, which scarcely deserve the name of evils, and which, if we were to look forward, not a hundred years, but till to-morrow morning, we might with truth say,_" it will be all the same."
Gardener.-Ah, my dear sir, and which of all the real trials of life do not shrink into trifles when we look forward a hundred years ? When my dear niece died, whom I had brought up from her childhood, and who, by her obedient and amiable conduct, added so much to my happiness, I thought the stroke was so severe I should never recover from it; but when I looked at it more calmly, better thoughts and feelings arose in my mind. She was ready and willing to go, and had safely reached the shore, where she would be for ever secure from sin and sorrot. I have but a few more years of conflict here below, and then I may hope to join her in a better world : of what consequence is it then which of us goes first? A hundred years hence, how short our separation will appear.
My Father.— Yes, it was in this way the Apostle Paul looked upon all his trials and sufferings. At first sight they appeared
heavy and depressing, but he called his heavenly arithmetic to his aid, and compared this life, with all its afflictions, with eternity, and the result was,— Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed. It is a great privilege when the eye of the understanding has thus been opened by the power of the Holy Spirit, to perceive that which is unseen and eternal. We then see the things of time in their right proportions, and learn to value them according to their influence on our hearts and characters. When our minds are in a right state, nothing but sin can make us really unhappy.
Gardener..--Yes, sir, it is just that which makes all the difference, It is not so much the events which occur, as the spirit in which we meet them, which makes us happy or unhappy; but this truth young people do not understand. When something has gone wrong, either from carelessness, idleness, or disobedience, they often try to comfort themselves with old Antony's proverb,—“ It will be all the same a hundred years hence." But no, no, I tell them “this will not do for you, any better than the strong, heating medicine, which I took for my rheumatism, would suit a man with a burning fever.” Your disobedience or carelessness will have a bad influence on your master's interest, and on your own character. Now certainly a hundred years hence it may not be of much consequence to your master whether you obeyed his injunctions or not; but to you it will be all-important what kind of character you have formed; and whether you may believe it or not, these things which you now look upon as trifles, will have a powerful influence on your character, which will probably continue through life, and even in eternity distinguish you. You generally pay attention to old Antony's advice—whether it has much influence on you or not I cannot say, but it is my earnest desire to be useful to you, not for the present time only, but for a hundred years hence also.
My Father.—Yes, Antony, we ought to try to be useful to all with whom we come in contact; and a word wisely spoken may sometimes make a far deeper impression than we anticipated. I am rejoiced to see that you have at length persuaded your cousin to send his son to school. He is an intelligent youth, and as his family are not poor, it would be a great pity for him
to be deprived of education on account of the small sum it costs. · Gardener.-Certainly, sir ; but my cousin never learned much himself, and it was a very difficult thing to convince him it would be to his son's advantage to be taught. It was of no use to tell him that knowledge would probably make him a wiser and a better man. “What does that matter?” he answered, “I have earned my bread without knowing much, and Peter already earns two shillings a-week, and will soon have much more; he must get on in the world as I have." I then related to him how one and another had risen in the world in our neighbourhood because they had had a little education, and how the son of old Andreas Koch now supported his parents. This at first made a little impression on him ,but after a few moments he replied,—“Ah, a hundred years hence it will be all the same, whether Peter has been taught or not. Perhaps he may not live so long as to be able to support me; or perhaps I may die first, and not require his help, and shall I then give up a certain advantage for one I never may be in circumstances to require ?' I then tried to persuade him that by receiving instruction now, his son might become more useful to the world, and have the means of doing good which would continue more than a hundred years, and increase his happiness for ever : but I soon saw he thought only of the present moment, and as I could not make any impression on him, I promised him if he would send his son to school, out of school hours I would give him employment by which he could earn as much as he was accustomed to. He therefore comes to me from five in the morning until eight, and again in the afternoon, and promises to become an intelligent and useful man.
During this conversation between my father and his old gardener, Antony was busily engaged in taking cuttings from some beautiful geraniums, and planting them in pots for me to take with me into the house. My father soon after left the greenhouse. “Here, Samuel,” said the old man, “here are the cuttings for you; in a week or two I hope they will all have taken root; next summer they will become large plants, and when you look at them perhaps you may think of old Antony, whose head by that time will most likely be reposing under the clods of the valley. Then remember, dear Samuel, that as these
cuttings outlive the hand which planted them, so the consequences of your actions and character may long endure when you have passed away from earth. Do not, then, allow your thoughts and attention to be absorbed by the things of time. A hundred years hence they will appear of as little value as if they had never been ; but far different will it be with the fruits of your conduct, the formation of your character, and the use you have made of your strength and talents. Before, therefore, you commence anything, ask yourself,—'What influence will it have a hundred years hence on myself or others? And never let a day pass over you, as long as you live, without questioning, where, and how, and what shall I be a hundred years hence?'”
R. A. E. -
INTERESTING INSTANCE OF TRUE HEROISM. A few weeks ago two miners, Verran and Roberts were at work in South Caradon new shaft, which is intended to be sunk perpendicularly through a granite country to intersect the lode, or vein of metal, at the depth of about 840 feet. The present depth is about 60 feet; and they had prepared a hole, and filled it in the usual manner with gunpowder, for the purpose of splitting the rock through which they were working: the fuse, or match, by which the powder was to be lighted, had been inserted, and every thing made ready for firing. On these occasions the men are drawn up by a windlass, and as there are only three in a gang, no more than one can be spared to wind this windlass, two being required below. In consequence of this arrangement, only one man can be raised at a time; “ the kibble,” as it is called, is therefore twice lowered, and the last man having set fire to the fuse, is drawn up with all expedition that he may get out of the way when the explosion takes place, which is sometimes so violent that large stones are thrown up at the top, carrying with them part of the roller of the windlass to a considerable height.
It unfortunately happened that in the case referred to, the safety fuse was longer than necessary;. and the men imprudently took a sharp stone to cut a piece of it off, when ignition instantly commenced. They both flew to the kibble, and cried out to the