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Vocations And Avocations

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At Unity club, Monday evening, a talf, large, and powerful man, with afull flowing beard, stood before the audience and talked about vocations and avocations. Prof. Hinsdale has been in Ann Arbor less than a year, in the chair of the university formerly held by Prof. W. H. Payne. His fame had preceded him here, however ; for, as the personal friend and biographer of Girfield, whose memory he tenderly cherishes, he had become widely known. "The words vocation and avocation," said Prof. Hinsdale, " are widely separated in the dictionary, and are widely separated in meaning." Vocation is the ordinary, customary work selected by one to insure a support. An avocation is a pursuit aside, separate and apart from the ordinary pursuit or vocation. The two words are commonly confounded in conversational language, and there is lately tne same tondency in hterature. But they are distinct, and it would be unfortunate if the distinction were obliterated. A well regulated life, Prof. Hinsdale thinks, calis for both a vocation and an avocatioD. So far as we can judge, the cecessity for toil will never be lifted; men must continue to have vocations with which to support life. It is nature's law. According to Edward Atkinson, we in I this country are constantly within one year of starvation, within two yeara of lack of clothing, and within three years of destruction, if production were to cease and consumption continue. The richest state in the unión has not and probably never will accumulate more than a supply sufBcient for three year3. Some one went into the Rothschild 's bank in G-srmany and complained of our system which periüitted so much accumulation when the masses were poor. "How much is is our accumulation here?' asked the banker. "$40,000.000." "How many people in Germany?" "40,000,000." "Well, here is your dollar." A vocation is not miscellaneous activity. One inay be active but not ha-re a vocation. There never was a timewhen'a vocalion was bo necessary to every one, as now, in a time of concentraron, ofppecialized effort, and of competition. One's bodily and mental healthdemands employment, and it is a wise ordination of nature. Happiness is never obtftiüeJ by an exclusive pursuit of her; she is a shy nymph. But experience teacbes that constant employment in one line narrows one's powers and dwarfs one's nature. As división of labor, and specialization of effort, are made necassary by our system, one should see the necessity for an avocation to draw him aside for a little while from that severe concentration which tends to make him strong but narrow. Unremitting application to a vocation tires and wearies. Physiology tells us that unrelieved constant employment in one line wears. An avooation rests; it gives respite; it restores strength. It is said that Eufus Choate, the great Massachusetts lawyer, translated every day some Latin or Greek passage into lÍBglish. According to General Garfield, Salmón r. tiase, when most wearied after a hard day's work as secretary of the treasury in war times, at night would read Tennyson or gome other master of song. Some have been renowned beoause of their avocations who would never have been known by their voeations. Spinozi's regular business was that of grinding Ienses; but we know him asaphilosopher. Charles Lamb was employed in writing in ledgers for the East India cornpany ; but we love him for his essays. John Stuart Mili is not known for his business, but for his avocation. George Grote was a banker; he is not known as a financier, but for his hietory of Greece. Antony Trollope is not remembered because of his skill in exterding the postoffice facilities of Great Britain, which was his regular business or vocation, but for his novéis which he wrote at intervals in a business life. It is worthy of remark that even those who are not engaged in what are classed the more dignified pursuits need avocations. He knew of a man whose business was to drive an express wagon, but nis avocation was thestudy of birds, in which he found rest and cheer. There are only a few men wbo really know Shakespeare and one of them is Joseph Crosby, of Zínesville, O., who keeps a grocery store. Prof. Hinsdale clo9ed his talk with a quo:tion upon the subject from Wilhelm Meister. Mrs. C. M. Stone then read an essay to the club on art. The Baptist choir, composed of Prof. W. M. Skinner, A. D. Colgrove, Mrs. W. W. Beman, and Miss Allie Cramer, rendered two selections, and Prof. Skinner sang a solo.


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Ann Arbor Register