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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 2 (May 1, 1935)

The Guarded Tongue

The Guarded Tongue.

I speak not of she who knows she moves among potential enemies whose keen ears are ready for any careless pronouncement and whose caustic comments throng the lips in readiness (if such there be in this present world of peace—such women as even Cranford knew, and Jane Austen painted in all their waspish finery); but of she who ever is thrust back within herself from those heights where she sometimes is and where her mind knows her spirit is at home, thrust back by small discomforts—headaches, common colds—ills of the flesh, which claim attention, and force down the level of her energy below the plane of her best self. Of she I speak. She knows her outlook, her ideas on life, and how her friends are placed in her regard; in her high moments she has overlooked, as from a mountain-top, her little world-and found it good. But, being flesh, her spirit must go down into the valleys. Then, oppressed with weariness, perhaps, she knows all that she feels, but cannot feel it; remembers the truths that she has set to guide her life, but cannot trace the path she trod to find them; keeps her friends in her heart, but cannot reach out to them.

Then, at these moments of low energy, low thought, low being, must she most carefully guard her tongue, that she belie not her true emotions, retract not from her true faith, wound not her true friends. Then must she show her wisdom, and endure, and guard, with golden silence, her life's hoard of treasure.

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