Star Papers; Or, Experiences of Art and Nature

By Henry Ward Beecher | Go to book overview

XXVII. NATURE A MINISTER OF HAPPINESS.

LENOX, August 27, 1854.

IT was not meant that the enjoyments of life should be few and intense, but many and gentle; and great happiness is the sum of a multitude of drops. Those days which are the channels of mighty joys are, perhaps, the most memorable. But they exhaust. They unfit us for common duties. We regard them as we do mountain-tops. We go up occasionally, not to dwell there, but to see at a glance the whole of that which, upon the plains, we see only in succession and in detail. But the staple of pleasure must be found in small measures, and in common things. They who are seeking enjoyment in remote ways, abandoning familiar things and common experience for wild and outstretched flights, will find more and more, as life advances, that they have taken the road to yearnings, but not to enjoyment. The secret of happiness lies in the health of the whole mind, and in giving to each faculty due occupation, and in the natural order of their superiorities, the Divine first, the human second, the material last. And every one can find, but in different degrees, the food for all their faculties in that sphere into which God has cast their lot. Instead of seeking happiness by going out of our place, our skill should be to find it where we are. Our pleasures, like honey, should

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Star Papers; Or, Experiences of Art and Nature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface. v
  • Contents 7
  • I- Ruins of Kenilworth. -- Warwick Castle. 9
  • II- A Sabbath at Stratford-On-Avon. 27
  • III- Oxford. 41
  • IV- The Louvre -- Luxembourg Gallery. 56
  • V- The Louvre. 70
  • VI- London National Gallery. 77
  • I- A Discourse of Flowers. 93
  • II- Death in the Country. 106
  • III- Inland Vs. Seashore. 110
  • IV- New England Graveyards. 121
  • V- Towns and Trees. 129
  • VI- The First Breath in the Country. 137
  • VII- Trouting. 144
  • VIII- A Ride. 152
  • IX- The Mountain Stream. 161
  • X- A Country Ride. 172
  • XI- Farewell to the Country. 182
  • XII- School Reminiscence. 189
  • Xiii. The Value of Birds. 194
  • Xiv. A Rough Picture from Life. 197
  • Xv. A Ride to Fort Hamilton. 201
  • Xvi. Sights from My Window. 211
  • Xvii. The Death of Our Almanac. 1853. 218
  • Xviii. Fog in the Harbor. 226
  • Xix. The Morals of Fishing. 231
  • Xx. The Wanderings of a Star. 240
  • Xxi. Book-Stores, Books. 250
  • Xxii. Gone to the Country. 256
  • Xxiii. Dream-Culture. 263
  • Xxiv. A Walk Among Trees. 271
  • Xxv. Building a House. 285
  • Xxvi. Christian Liberty in the Use of the Beautiful. 293
  • Xxvii. Nature a Minister of Happiness. 303
  • Xxviii. Springs and Solitudes. 314
  • Xxix. Mid-October Days. 324
  • Xxx. A Moist Letter. 336
  • Xxxi. Frost in the Window. 344
  • Xxxii. Snow-Storm Traveling. 348
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