Having been myself when young rather prone to suffer from low spirits, I have at several of these gatherings taken the opportunity of dwelling on the privileges and blessings we enjoy, and I reprint here the substance of some of these addresses (omitting what was special to the circumstances of each case, and freely making any alterations and additions which have since occurred to me), hoping that the thoughts and quotations in which I have myself found most comfort may perhaps be of use to others also.
possibility of happiness.
Moreover, much of what we call evil is really good in disguise, and we should not "quarrel rashly with adversities not yet understood, nor overlook the mercies often bound up in them."  Pleasure and pain are, as Plutarch says, the nails which fasten body and soul together. Pain is a warning of danger, a very necessity of existence. But for it, but for the warnings which our feelings give us, the very blessings by which we are surrounded would soon and inevitably prove fatal. Many of those who have not studied the question are under the impression that the more deeply-seated portions of the body must be most sensitive. The very reverse is the case. The skin is a continuous and ever-watchful sentinel, always on guard to give us notice of any approaching danger; while the flesh and inner organs, where pain would be without purpose, are, so long as they are in health, comparatively without sensation.
"We talk," says Helps, "of the origin of evil;... but what is evil? We
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