its original pattern. And this is not a matter of cir- cumstance. We are apt to concede that some em- ployments benumb the mind, and that some positions dwarf it. On the other hand we claim circumstantial advantages, as of education, society or pursuit, — as if there were better facilities in these for development. The polished citizen takes it for granted that the mind 210 COTRACTIO AD EXPASIO. of the untutored clown is narrower than his own. The man of large commercial dealings or political af- fairs would spurn the close sphere of a mechanic, A delicate and dainty damsel, bedecked and bepraised in a bright parlor, may stare compassionately on the plying housewife or the busy dairy-maid. Again, however, we are startled by the discovery of charac- ters that thrive under disadvantages, as the grass grows under the tread. We see strength and beauty springing in the wilds of life, as one finds choicest flowers in the woods. We set these down as excep- tions, puzzling ourselves to find their secrets and their specialities. But the matter becomes more profound when we recognize the historic fact which shapes it- self into a law, that almost all greatness rises from obscurity, like the moon from the shadows of the evening; that almost all success grows out of disad- vantage, as trees yield the richest fruitage around whose roots the rankest decay has spread. A close look establishes the fact that while an external con- dition warps the being on one side, it can enlarge it on the other. While the mind of the rustic is wrinkled in some aspects by his rough life, as his hands grow hard with toil, — in others it is pulpy and blooming, like his cheek, beyond that of the student, clearer than that of the author, and as sensitive as that of the poet.