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[233] been wasted; and if any of them were really so foolish, they have perhaps grown wiser already. It is not at all uncommon for young men to feel in that same way, for a year or two after leaving college, when the door of success or employment seems as if it were locked on the wrong side. A few years will, however, teach them that a well-trained brain is a good preparation for any conceivable pursuit, and that a well-stored mind is one of the very greatest blessings, whether a man is suffering under the chagrin of failure or the ennui of success. So, many a woman, it may be, has for a moment distrusted the value of her own training, when she found herself, in Emerson's words,

Servant to a wooden cradle,
Living in a baby's life;

or in days when all her mathematics must be brought down to the arithmetic of teething, and all her music must be laid aside to attend to the musical instrument of sweeter tone that says, “Mother.” No doubt the function of motherhood takes a dozen absorbing years out of many a young woman's life. All the better for her, then, if she has gained the material for intellectual activity before that day comes. If an army is about to cross a desert where there is no food, this only affords more reason for filling up the haversacks and canteens.

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M. J. Emerson (1)
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