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Brave Men and Women

Brave Men and Women

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Publicado porDharmsen Soni

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Published by: Dharmsen Soni on Jan 26, 2011
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04/06/2015

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parishioners who wept, stopped and cheered them as he went, adding, that
he went on his way rejoicing.

Heroes and martyrs are perhaps too high examples, for they may have, or
rather poor, common, every-day humanity will think they have, a kind of
high-pressure sustainment. Let us look to our own prosaic days; let us mark
the constant cheerfulness and manliness of Dr. Maginn, or that much higher
heroic bearing of Tom Hood. We suppose that every body knows that
Hood's life was not of that brilliant, sparkling, fizzing, banging, astonishing
kind which writers such as Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, and some others,
depict as the general life of literary men. He did not, like Byron, "jump up
one morning, and find himself famous." All the libraries were not asking
for his novel, though a better was not written; countesses and dairy-women
did not beg his autograph. His was a life of constant hard work, constant
trial or disappointment, and constant illness, enlivened only by a home
affection and a cheerfulness as constant as his pain. When slowly, slowly
dying, he made cheerful fun as often almost as he said his prayers. He was
heard, after, perhaps, being almost dead, to laugh gently to himself in the
still night, when his wife or children, who were the watchers, thought him
asleep. Many of the hard lessons of fate he seasoned, as old Latimer did his
sermons, with a pun, and he excused himself from sending more "copy" for
his magazine by a sketch, the "Editor's Apologies," a rough pen-and-ink
drawing of physic-bottles and leeches. Yet Hood had not only his own
woes to bear, but felt for others. No one had a more tender heart--few men
a more catholic and Christian sympathy for the poor--than the writer of the
"Song of the Shirt."

What such men as these have done, every one else surely can do.
Cheerfulness is a Christian duty; moroseness, dulness, gloominess, as false,
and wrong, and cruel as they are unchristian. We are too far advanced now
in the light of truth to go back into the Gothic and conventual gloom of the
Middle Ages, any more than we could go back to the exercises of the
Flagellants and the nonsense of the pre-Adamites. All whole-hearted
peoples have been lively and bustling, noisy almost, in their progress,
pushing, energetic, broad in shoulder, strong in lung, loud in voice, of free
brave color, bold look, and bright eyes. They are the cheerful people in the

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