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DISCRETION. — SECRETS. - AGE.
DISCRETION. There are many more shining qualities in the mind of man, but there is none so useful as discretion; it is this which gives a value to all the rest, which sets them at work in their proper times and places, and turns them to the advantage of the person who is possessed of them.
Without it, learning is pedantry, and wit impertinence; nay, virtue itself looks like weakness. Discretion not only shows itself in words, but in all the circumstances of action; and is like an under agent of Providence, to guide and direct us in the ordinary chances of life.
KEEPING SECRETS. The reply of Charles the Second, when importuned to communicate something of a private nature, deserves to be engraven on the heart of every man. “Can you keep a secret?" asked the subtle monarch. “Most faithfully," returned the nobleman. “So can I,” was the laconic, and severe answer of the king.
AGE. Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man. He that grows old without religious hope, as he declines into imbecility, and feels pains and sorrows incessantly crowding upon him, falls into the gulf of bottomless misery, in which every reflection must plunge him deeper, and where he finds only new gradations of anguish, and precipices of horror.
He that would pass the latter part of his life with honor
and decency, must, when he is young, consider, that he shall one day be old, and remember when he is old, that he has once been young.
An old age, unsupported with matter for discourse and meditation, is much to be dreaded. No state can be more destitute than that of him, who, when the delights of sense forsake him, has no pleasures of the mind.
SIR WALTER SCOTT. SIR WALTER Scott, when a boy, gave very slight indications of genius, nor did he shine in his early career as a scholar. In Latin, he did not advance far until his tenth year, when Dr Paterson succeeded to the school at Musselburg, where young Scott then was. Dr Blair, on a visit to Musselburg, soon after Dr Paterson took charge of the school, accompanied by some friends, examined several of the pupils, and paid particular attention to young Scott. Dr Paterson thought it was the youth's stupidity that engaged the Doctor's notice, and said, “My predecessor tells me that boy has the thickest skull in the school.”—“May be so," replied Dr Blair, but through that thick skull, I can discern many rays of future genius.” How fully the prediction has been verified, need not be told.
CHOICE OF COMPANY. ENDEAVOR, as much as you can, to keep good company, and the company of your superiors; for you will be held in estimation according to the company you keep. By superiors, I do not mean so much with regard to birth, rank or condition, as merit, and the light in which they are considered in the world.
STAND! the ground's your own, my braves!
Hope ye mercy still ?:
Ask it ye who will !
Fear ye foes who kill for hire !
And before you, see
Let their welcome be!
In the God of battles trust!
Be consign'd so well,
Of his deeds to tell !
GOOD EXAMPLE. Living under the influence of a bright example, is to the soul, what breathing a pure, wholesome air is to the body. We find ourselves mended and improved, and invigorated by both, without any sensible impression made upon us, and without perceiving how the happy change is brought about.
When people offer us advice, it often seems to argue a kind of superiority which sometimes piques and offends us. We are apt to set ourselves against it, out of mere pride. But we cannot possibly be angry at a man for taking care of his own conduct, for going on the right road himself, and leaving us to follow him or not, as we think fit.
TRUTH. The Egyptians of old ever used to wear a golden chain, beset with precious stones, which they styled truth, intimating that to be the most illustrious ornament. The sacred writings tell us that “God is truth,” and therefore to pervert the use of our speech, which so remarkably distinguishes us from the beasts that perish, must be a high offence to him.
Lying is the vice of a villain, a coward and a slave. If a liar be discovered, he becomes forever suspected. “ All that thou canst get by lying or dissembling, is, that thou wilt not be believed, when thou speakest the truth.”
THE DROWNING BOY AND DOG.
A FABLE. A LITTLE boy, playing on the side of a pond, fell into the water. His playmates cried, but could not help him out. He thought he should have been drowned, and must have been so; but at that moment, a noble dog happening to pass by, and hearing his cries, ran up to the pond, and said as well as he could, “ I will help you out, little boy;" and then instantly plunged in, and brought him safe on shore, without hurting a hair of his head.
When we see any one in trouble, we should imitate this noble creature, and if we can, try and help him out.
INGRATITUDE. INGRATITUDE is a sin so shameful, that there never was a man found, who would own himself guilty of it. Ingratitude perverts all the measures of religion and society, by making it dangerous to be charitable and good natured ; however, it is better to expose ourselves to ingratitude, than to be wanting in charity to the distressed.
He that promotes gratitude pleads the cause both of God and man, for without it, we can neither be sociable nor religious.
An ungrateful man is a reproach to the creation ; an exception from all the visible world ; neither the heavens above, nor the earth beneath, affording anything like him.