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But I laughed as I left them in the sunshine:
There was never aught of rest for me
Till I mingled my waters with the ocean,
Till I sang in the chorus of the sea.

Ah me! for my pride upon the mountain,
Ah me! for my beauty in the plains,
Where my crest floated glorious in the sunshine,
And the clouds showered strength into my veins.

Alas! for the blushing little blossoms,
And the grasses with their long golden drifts,
For the shadows of the forest in the moontide,
And the full-handed cities with their gifts.

I have mingled my waters with the ocean,
I have sung in the chorus of the sea,
And my soul from the tumult of the billows
Will nevermore be jubilant and free.

I sing, but the echo of my mourning
Returns to me, shrieking back again
One wild weak note amongst the myriads
That are sobbing 'neath the thunders of the main.

O well for the dewdrop on the gowan,
O well for the pool upon the height,
Where the kids gather thirsty in the noontide,
And stars watch all through the summer night.

There is no home-returning for the waters
To the mountain, whence they came glad and free;
There is no happy ditty for the singer
That has sung in the chorus of the sea.


NOTWITHSTANDING the proverb which
warns us that the longest way round may
be the shortest way home, short cuts have
invariably exercised an absorbing influence
over the mind of man. There is a
fascination, to some of us irresistible, in the
idea of being able to attain a desired end
without painful processes of preliminary
labour. To get at results without
sustained effort is for some people happiness
and joy.

In the matter of modern languages, in
especial, short cuts find great favour. Many
persons undoubtedly believe that a foreign
language can be attained with ease and
certainty, with no study at all. French in
half a dozen lessons is a common bait with
the teachers of that tongue; so common a
fly to cast over the waters of ignorance that
many fish must needs rise at it. German
and Italian present, if you may believe
certain teachers, no more difficulties than
French. Only Russian, which to the
unlearned student of cigarette boxes looks
less like a language than a typographical
joke, appears to require any time or any
labour. And there are doubtless persons
who would cheerfully profess to teach, and
others who would as readily profess to
learn, Russian, or even Chinese, in some
dozen or so of three-quarter-of-an-hour
lessons. It is for persons of this stamp
that are compiled those amazing polyglot
phrase-books which are intended to assist
the "picker-up" of foreign tongues. For
that is the formula: "Going to Paris for a
fortnight, Jones? Didn't know you could
speak French." "No more I can, my boy,"
says Jones; "but I'm quick at that sort of
thing. Pick it up in no time." And off
he goes with his phrase-book in his pocket.
As it is, no great harm is done, for Jones
probably finds the English language answer
his purpose perfectly well in Paris, and
does not find it necessary to consult his
books. But if he were to try them, to what
extremities would his faith in short cuts
reduce him! He would find himself
represented as saying, in a dialogue with a
butcher, let us say, "I want some pork,
beef, lamb, mutton, venison," and, according
to the book, would find it the butcher's
duty to reply, "Here is a leg, a neck, a
shoulder, a sirloin, a brisket, a chop, a
cutlet, a quarter," and so on. It would
be impossible, if the learner followed
implicitly the counsels of his phrase-book, for
him to ask for a pair of gloves without
running through a long list of articles of
haberdashery. He would be compelled to order
so many things for dinner in the course of his
first remark in the "dialogue with a cook,"
that it is possible it would be ultimately
but a small shock to him to find himself
endeavouring to explain his condition to
the doctor in a fearful list of diseases which
he would find set down for him, after the
introductory remark "I am ill, unwell,
indisposed," as "I have fever, cough,
rheumatism, cholera, cold in the head, gout,
neuralgia," and all the rest of it. And what
would be his feelings on reading the reply
of the doctor, evidently a very general
practitioner, "I will give you a draught,
a pill, a bolus, an emetic, ointment, a
liniment, a gargle," and what not?
Conversational pitfalls such as these lurk in all
corners of the phrase-books. It is unnecessary
to dwell upon the frightful consequences
of the foreign interlocutor's making
a reply not provided for in the printed
dialogue, which would be a tremendous
circumstance indeed, and would stop up
the short cut at once.

It is usually popularly supposed that
this love of linguistic short cuts chiefly
animates the travelling Briton; that the
phrase-book is naturally a part of the
paraphernalia of our countrymen. But it
is gratifying to know that in one other
nation at least the art of learning languages
in something less than no time is properly
cultivated. The favoured youth of Portugal
who may be desirous of mastering the
English language may do so, with ease and