chapter  20
The Slave of the Needle (1850)
Pages 16

The world we live in is a bright and glorious one; and kindly feelings, pure desires, and holy passions march with us to our inevitable and inscrutable destiny. Heaven’s hallowed sunshine falls on all alike; but there are those with bruised hearts, who walk amidst its beams unmindful of their beauty, and insensible to the warmth they afford. Creatures fashioned after the image of the Great Eternal turn their haggard faces imploringly to the sky, and see only one vast blue depth, in which they can read nothing but the vague hope, the doubtful though half-smiling promise of something better hereafter; and then they look at the stately buildings, the pomp and insignia of wealth, the regal magnificence of power, landscapes glittering in their almost garden beauty, waving fields of God’s food, pastures dotted with sleek and stately cattle; and then they gaze at what they see in and around themselves, and with a sigh, oftentimes a groan, they exclaim that there is a world within that which meets the dazzled eye of prosperity, of which no one knows aught save those whom capricious fortune has doomed to be its inhabitants. This world, as typified in the vigorous language of poetry is “That frozen continent, Dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms Of whirlwind and dire hail”