We have a task before us which must be speedily
performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay.
The most important crisis of our life calls,
trumpet-tongued, for immediate action and energy. We
glow--we are consumed with eagerness to commence the work,
and our whole souls are on fire with anticipation of the
glorious result. It must--it shall be undertaken to-day--and
yet we put it off until to-morrow. And why? There is no
answer except that we feel perverse--employing the word
with no comprehension of the principle. To-morrow arrives, and
with it a more impatient anxiety to do our duty; but with this
very increase of anxiety arrives, also, a nameless--a positively
fearful, because unfathomable, craving for delay. The craving
gathers as the moments fly. The last hour for action is at hand.
We tremble with the violence of the conflict within us--of the
definite with the indefinite--of the Substance with the Shadow;
but, if the contest have proceeded thus far, it is the Shadow
which prevails. We struggle in vain. The clock strikes
and is the knell of our welfare, but at the same time is the
chanticleer-note to the Thing that has so long overawed us. It
flies. It disappears. We are free. The old energy returns. We
will labor now--alas, it is too late!