Page images
PDF
EPUB

graces, and imitating the follies of youth ; or a young person assuming the importance and solemnity of age. I do not wish you to be in. sensible to the ridicule of such absurd deviations from truth and nature.""--Mrs. Chapone.

REGULARITY. Is necessary to the proper discharge of the duo ties of life ; it may at first appear unpleasant, but habit will render it agreeable and even desirable.

[ocr errors]

“ THERE is in many people, especially in youth, a strange aversion to regularity ; a de. sire to delay what ought to be done immedi. ately, in order to do something else, which might as well be done afterwards. Be assured it is of more consequence than you can conceive, to get the better of this idle procrastinating spirit, and to acquire habits of constancy and steadiness, even in the most trifling matters ; without them there can be no regularity, or consistency of action or character, no depen. dence on your best intentions, which a sudden humour may tempt you to lay aside for a time, and which a thousand unforeseen accidents will afterwards render it more and more difficult to execute : no one can say what important consequences may follow a neglect of this kind !"

Mrs. Chapone. FRIENDSHIP Must be not only procured but preserved; this is to be effected by a temper and behaviour always conciliating.

" I have always laid it down as a rule, that

the same behaviour which procures friendship, is absolutely necessary to the preservation of it. I hate that vulgar familiarity which people are so apt to run into, when friendship rises into intimacy. I am so scrupulous in this mat. ter, that I never call my most intimate friends by their sirnames. If I give an entertainment, I think my oldest friends are entitled to the first place at my table, and to the best treat. ment I can give them. The false civility that is generally current in the world, and is nothing but affectation, judges quite contrary; they neglect their friends to pay all their attention to a stranger whom they, perhaps, may never see again, only for the vanity of having it said that they make a good appearance !"... Anon.

READING Is the characteristic of the age. It is attended with substantial advantages, enlarges the em. pire of thought, improves the taste, and is a source of refined enjoyment.

THE advantages that we reap from reading does not consist in retaining what we have read ; and we must not think it profitable bnt in proportion to our memory. Reading, I mean even that of the most indifferent books, is an occa. sion of thinking; it affords exercise to the mind. This is its principal use, because 'tis chiefly by thinking that the mind is enlarged and strengthened. I allow that we forget our own thoughts, those which Reading had occasioned, as well as those of the books themselves, but we still have improved the faculty of thinking, which is of much greater consequence than to have retained the thoughts. Taste is also formed

by reading good books, and however had our memory may be, the general notion of good and excellent insensibly takes impression on the mind, accordingly as we read good things !”

Anon.

[ocr errors]

THE KINDNESS OF PROVIDENCE

[merged small][ocr errors]

Is evinced by the copious provision made for the wants and necessities of man ; a brief survey of this delightful truth will carry conviction to the heart.

“ The beauties of nature bear witness to the existence of God, and the miseries of man con. firm the truths of religion. There exists not a single animal that is not lodged, clothed, fed, by the hand of nature, without care, and al. most without labour. Man alone, from his birth upward, is overwhelmed with calamity... first, he is born naked, and possessed of so little instinct, that, if the mother who bore himn were not to rear him for several years, he would perish of hunger, of cold, or of heat.

“ Thus Providence interposes for the relief of man, supplying his wants in a thousand extraordinary ways. What would have become of him in the earliest ages had he been abandoned to his own reason, still unaided by experience! Where found he corn, which at this day con• stitutes a principal part of the food of so many nations? Who taught him agriculture, an art so simple, that the most stupid of mankind is capable of learning it ; aud yet so sublime that the most intelligent of animals never can pretend to practise it? There is scarcely an ani. mal which supports not its lite by vegetables, which has not daily experience of their re

[ocr errors]

production, and which does not employ, in quest of those that suit them, many more combinations that would have been necessary for resowing them.

If Providence had abandoned man to him. self, on proceeding from the hands of the cre. ator, what would have become of bim? Who could have subjected to his authority so many animals which stood in no need of him, which surpassed him in cunning, in speed, in strength; unless the hand, which, notwithstanding his fall, destined him still to empire, had humbled their heads to the obedience of his will ? The preservation, the enjoyments, and the empire of man demonstrate, that at all times a bepe. ficent God has been the friend and protector of human life."...St. Pierre.

YOUTH

NEED every caution to guard and secure them from the evils to which they are constantly exposed. They should always listen to the voice of friendly admonition.

" IS the moralist to be called an enemy to plea. sure, because he recommends to the young, not to ruin their healths, or fortunes, hy an excess of present gratifications, but so to manage their enjoyments as to spread them over a larger portion of life? In overcoming the gratification of passion, from a sense of duty, the more delicate the sense of honor, the more pure will be the satisfaction,”-Malthus.

THE CONQUEROR Is a great and splendid character in the eye of the generality of mankind, but the nearer we examine it the less reason is there for a blind and indiscriminate admiration.

“ FROM the heroes of antiquity have sprung the race of the wasteful conquerors of nations, the disturbers of the peace of man! Achilles begat Alexander, and his turbulent successors; Alexander begat Julius Cæsar, with the long and horrid series of Roman emperors, and the bewitchery of Cæsar's character will never cease to propagate the last of overbearing do. minion, without one end in view, but the mere fame of extended empire and despotic sway. To this we have owed the embryo attempt of Charles V. of Austria, and of Lewis XIV. of France, and at this moment owe more, per. haps, than to any other cause the present trou. bler of the world! An ample career of glory lay before him, but the ghost of Cæsar and the dream of more than Roman empire appear to haunt his sleeping and his waking hours; they have turned him from all honourable courses, nor will suffer him to pause until to serve some wise ends of an avenging Providence, he be permitted, for a while to spread desolation around, or fall at once, himself and his delud. ed country, a mighty ruin, a just, but inade. quate atonement to an offended and harassed world.".George Walker,

« PreviousContinue »