A Mole On The Nose
( Originally Published 1896 )
" A little blemish may cause great loss and sorrow. A young lady in a fashionable school in New York had a mole on the tip of her nose. There was nothing unclean or disgraceful about it; yet, trifle as it was, it forced itself on the notice of every stranger as the chief characteristic of the girl.
" She was pretty, modest, and clever, but modesty and wit were all obscured and subordinated by this paltry defect. Her classmates expressed sympathy when speaking of her to strangers, but were evidently quite confident that they had no similar blemish.
"Now, one of these ladies prefaced every sentence with a sharp ' Say!' like the stroke of a gong.
" `Say! I think it is raining.'
"'Say! I know something about mathematics.' "'Say! Have you heard the news?"
"Another of the girls stitched her sentences together by You know.'
'You know, I have such news to tell you! I was out yesterday at Laura's, and I met her brother, you know, and hc says that his cousin, you know, is actually engaged to Isabel.'
"A third girl bit her nails, and at every pause in the conversation fell to devouring them as furiously as a famished dog a bone. The spectators felt an irresistible desire to bring her something to eat.
"Still another young girl in the school interjected an utterly vacant laugh into every clause of a sentence. She sat next to the venerable clergyman at supper, and her conversation ran something in this wise:
" `Won't you have some jumbles, doctor? They're very nice, he! he! I heard you preach once last summer, up in the Kaaterskills. The sermon was on the sacrifice of Simeon, he! he! It made me cry, he! he! he! he!'
"Now, this lady had no wish to be irreverent or even merry. She probably did not know that she laughed at all. Her insane giggle, like the catch-words used by her companions, had been adopted first to cover a childish diffidence. No parent or friend had corrected the foolish, ill-bred habit, and a personal peculiarity of this kind is a matter of which no stranger will speak.
"Yet these little peculiarities, like the mole on the nose, were impertinently obtrusive. These girls had good looks, scholarship, and lovable natures; yet the one vulgar, silly habit was the point which forced itself on a stranger, and it was that mainly by which they were remembered.
" It would be a wise question for every young girl to ask of her nearest friend if she, too, has this mole upon her nose. And it would do no harm for boys and men, and even ministers, to ask the same question, and then hear the answer without getting angry about it."
If we were looking for a beautiful and suitable wife, we would seek some one's dutiful daughter; and if we were looking for a comely husband, we would choose brains before beauty, and goodness rather than gold. Better marry a man without money than money with-out the man.
"She falls in love with a fellow,
We greatly admire the adage, " Handsome is that `handsome does." There was a very beautiful woman in face and form. She was beautiful in her heart and life, too, for she loved to visit and pray with the poor and sick and unfortunate. This beautiful woman caught the small-pox while ministering to a wretched family. She recovered from the dreadful disease, but when she came out of the place in which she had been -shut up, her face was terribly marked. Was her beauty now all gone? Nay, these dreadful spots were the marks of her real beauty and nobility. They were more honorable than the scars on the body of the brave soldier who has returned from the war. "Favor is deceitful, :and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." There is a beauty greater than ever met the eye or charmed the ear-beauty of soul! which shines out in high duties done, forgetting self in noble self-denial, lofty sympathy, and eagerness to bless the weary and heavy laden. Though your natural beauty be as fair as that of a Greek goddess, yet an enemy may mutilate and destroy it, but he cannot reach or mar the intrinsic beauty of your soul.
Physical beauty, as seen in a beautiful face, is fascinating but in God's sight, how can it° be great when it is-only a passing shadow! Face beauty is but a fair blossom so soon to fade, a "dash of nature's tincture laid upon the skin which is soon washed off with a little sickness." All physical beauty is empty, fleeting, quick to fade, and like an almanac, it soon becomes of no account.
"I want some roses," said a lady to a florist, and as he started to get them, she added, "I want roses that. will last." He smiled curiously and replied: "Perhaps you would like to choose them." Alas, where can we find roses that will last many hours, even! They are so sweet and beautiful that we want them to stay,. but their time is short like that of all earthly beauty.
" Though blooms the human face divine;
"Yet worn by slowly rolling years
No physical beauty though it be as much praised as that of Absalom, can resist the ravages of time or bribe death; but there is a peerless beauty that hath a fade-less charm,- it is that moral and spiritual beauty that, no frost nor sun nor sirocco can wither and blight, nor the wasting hand of some mysterious disease can disfigure and destroy. Though nature may not have dowered us with a single physical charm, yet there is no one that may not acquire a beauty of character, a beauty which will survive the temporary eclipse of disease and death, a beanty which will make youth attractive, old age a benediction, and eternity a rapture,- it is the beauty of Christ-likeness, the beauty of holiness, " an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away."
While time thus wears out and destroys physical beauty, it ought to increase soul perfection and add fresh lustre to its beauty every day. The heart and soul never grow old. Outward life may be one thing, heart-life another. If you want the true weight of a man, weigh his heart. How true is the saying that in the world there is nothing great but man, and in man there is nothing great but mind! How few fully appreciate this intrinsic beauty of mind and soul! As the earth's most valuable riches are concealed in mines of gold and silver, so the best part of man is within him-his sincerity, his purity, his holiness, his humility - his heart's affection and tenderness,-his spiritual treasures. Who would not call a strong and even rough man, having a kind and tender heart, a beautiful character, but what would you call an unfeeling tyrant? A person may have by nature an ungainly rough outside, and a beautiful inside. Abraham Lincoln was proverbially a homely man, but there is no American, save George Washington, that is more admired. Absalom was beautiful, in person, but none the better for that.
There may be a secluded and serious beauty. The houses of Damascus are coarse and uninviting and anything but attractive on the outside, but once enter them, and you will never forget their entrancing charms. Did you ever hear a more beautiful prayer than this one of wise Socrates?-" I pray thee, 0 God, that I may be beautiful within." In the store window of a certain city was a sign which read " Interior Decorations." It was suggestive of another kind of interior decorations that no art-store can furnish, ornaments for the mind and heart, graces of the spirit that every man and woman should secure, interior decorations that will so beautify, exalt, and enrich as to make their possessor all glorious within, like the King's daughter, and be "worth more than all the costly ornamentation and bric-a-brac that ever adorned a home." A great sculptor had finished the figure and face of a colossal statue, and was now spending day after day in delicate work in the arrangement of the hair. A critic seeing him at his patient work, asked, " Why spend so much time in arranging the hair? no one will see it up there." The sculptor replied, "If we cannot see it from down here, the gods will see it from up above. Is it enough to have the outside beautiful, while the All-seeing Eye looks down from above and sees the fine touches of the soul? It is well to please men, if possible, and in harmony with principle. It should, however, always be our aim to please God, no matter what men may think. A fair character never fails to win the smile of an approving conscience and an approving God. There is no beauty like spiritual beauty-the beauty of holiness, the beauty of the Lord our God resting upon us. What is wanted everywhere in this world of sin is the beauty of holiness. This divine beauty is acquired from above, and is not to be compared with that which is simply inherited. The moral qualities which make up character are not hereditary. The beauty of holiness is beauty of pure, noble, regenerated, Christ-like character.