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Page:Chinese Speaker (E. Morgan, 1916).djvu/23

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CHAPTER I

THE COMMONWEALTH

1. PEOPLE WHO DO NOT ACT HAD BETTER NOT CRY I LOVE MY COUNTRY.

BY FEATHERS

When others with contempt treat me
I must devise a plan to requite them
When others would prey on me
I must devise a plan for thwarting them
Using all one's strength alone
Can practical love of country be shown.

The whole wide world, whether it be continent or country or world or individuals, is busy with its occupations the livelong day, regardless of trouble, and after all what is it for? One word, love, describes it. According to the interpretation of the word love, the dictionary saj'S it springs from jen humanity. It stands for the cognate characters, affection, grace, kindness, mercy. It also stands for disposition to joy (or love of pleasure), as well as admiration; again it stands for concupiscence, Meius says in the supplement, as to love, it is the extreme of the affections. That which men cannot be lacking in for a day, or be short of for a luoment is love. There is constant expenditure of nerve ami bone and of brain : now in rejoicing, now in chafing, now in grief, now in laugliter. The thousand forms and myriad phases we undergo, tlie strange and the fantastic, are notliing other than the impulses of love. If there is an absence of the feeling of love for a day, for the day there is no pleasure. If there is a temporary absence of love, for the time we do not live. A philosopher has said, 'Love is the mother of hope.' If there be no love, how can there be hope?

In talking of the word love, there are various exegeses of its meaning. There is disinterested love, and egotistic love: there is altruistic love, and selfish love: there is true love, and illicit love. In a word, given a human being, there is not one without the feelings of love. When love operates in great things, in public matters, and in legitimate matters, races and tribes will become strong and prosperous, and happiness will increase and grow. Wlien love operates in a self-indulgent sphere, or in a selfish spirit, or in illicit ways, the body will be brought to decay, the reputation will be tarnished, and calamities will soon overtake one.