Nine times out of ten it is over the Bridge of Sighs that we pass the narrow gulf from youth to manhood. That interval is usually marked by an ill placed or disappointed affection. We recover and we find ourselves a new being. The intellect has become hardened by the fire through which it has passed. The mind profits by the wrecks of every passion, and we may measure our road to wisdom by the sorrows we have undergone.
Practical wisdom is only to be learned in the school of experience. Precepts and instruction are useful so far as they go, but, without the discipline of real life, they remain of the nature of theory only.