W1160 ESSAY BY MARGARETTE BARKER LERNED [MCQUESTEN]
Nov 14 1825
From: Adams Female Academy, Londonderry, New Hampshire
"Take hope and expectation from the course of human life, and what remains?"
Of all the pafsions 1 and emotions, which actuate the human breast, perhaps none has more influence than hope: "It is the anchor of the soul." It sustains our spirit, and enables us to bear up under every misfortune and distress, with pleasing anticipation, that we shall one day be happier.
What enables the fearless mariner to brave the tempestuous ocean, far from his native home, and dear connexions [sic], amidst storms and distress? It is hope, which spreads its cheering influence over his heart, and gives him some portion of happiness, in thinking of the pleasure he shall enjoy, when he again returns, and hears his friends once more gladly welcome him home. When the weary and benighted traveller loses his way amid the trackless snow, when his heart is just ready to sink in despair, what ecstacy thrills through his frame, when he spies the distant gleaming from his dear native cot. It is hope which kindly whispers he is near his journey's end, and that shortly he will forget his fatigues and distress in the embrace of his family or only remembers them to recount with pleasure.
When the humble Christian is perplexed with the cares of this world, when troubles & afflictions surround him, it is hope, sweet soother of the sorrowing mind, which whispers peace to his dejected spirits, and enables him to look above the vanities of this lower world, and taste the few pleasures of religion, which can only have their source from above. Hope, like most of our other enjoyments is of a transitory nature, yet we derive more actual pleasure from it than we should imagine. When we reflect, what would be our feelings, if ever deprived of it, we immediately perceive how much our peace of mind depends upon it. Many a drooping spirit would sink to the earth, were it not for the faint dawning of hope, that spreads its influence in the heart and cheers the grief-worn bosom.
What anguish throbs our hearts, when the time arrives that we are to be separated from some friend whom we dearly love, yet the fond anticipation of meeting again, perhaps never to be parted, is a consolation of which we cannot be bereft. It is this anticipation which enable us firmly to support our feelings & appear cheerful & happy. But what would be our affliction at parting, without the least hope of meeting again. Thus we see hope, how deceitful soever it may sometimes appear, is still capable of offering some real enjoyment.
[Margarette Barker Lerned]
Adams Female Academy3
Londonderry, New Hampshire
November 14, 1825.
1 Margarette uses the now archaic "fs" construction for the "ss" sound, which we have transcribed as "ss" for ease of reading.
2 It is not known what these initials mean, the essay is clearly in Margarette's handwriting, written in the same style, and on the same size and type of paper as most of her other essays.
3 For a note on Adams Female Academy, and on Margarette Barker Lerned, see W1100.