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of an artist. Every Object is capable of suggesting to him a volume of reflections.
«. The time of these two, persons in one respect resembles ; it has brought them both to Hyde. park corner. In every other respect how dis. similar!
“ Probably nothing has contributed so much to generate these opposite habits of mind as an early taste for reading. Books gratify and excite our curiosity in innumerable ways. They force us to reflect : they present direct ideas of various kinds, and they suggest indirect ones. In a well written book we are presented with the maturest reflections, or the happiest Aights of a mind of uncommon excellence; and it is impossible that we can be much accustomed to such companions, without attaining some resem. blance of them.--Godwin.
THE POWER OF HABIT
ls particularly exemplied in the effects produced by the company we keep ; the utmost vigilance, therefore, should be exercised on this important subject.
“ THE great power and force of custom forms an argument against keeping bad company. However shocked we may be at the first approaches of vice, this shocking appearance goes off upon an intimacy with it. Custom will soon render the most disgustful object familiar to our view; and this is indeed a kind provision of pature, to render labour, and toil, and danger, which are the lot of man, more easy to him. The raw soldier, who trembles at the first en. counter, becomes a hardy veteran in a few
campaigns. Habit renders danger familiar, and of course indifferent to him.
“ But habit, which is intended for our good, may, like other kind appointments of nature, be converted into a mischief. The well dis. posed youth, entering first into bad company, is shocked at what he sees and what he hears, The good principles which he had imbibed ring in his ears an alarming lesson against the wick. edness of his companions. But, alas ! this sensibility is of a day's continuance. The next jo. vial meeting makes the horrid picture of yester. day more easily endured. Virtue is soon thought a severe rule ; an inconvenient restraint : a few pangs of conscience now and then whisper to him that he once had better thoughts : but even these by degrees die away, and he who at first was shocked even at the appearance of vice, is formed by custom into a profligate leader of vicious pleasures. So carefully should we oppose the first approaches of sin! so vigi. lant should we be against so insidious an enemy !--Gilpin.
THE GOLDEN MEAN
Is assuredly the most desirable ; because the wants of man are few ; and too great abundance involves its possessors in distress and misery.
" When the plains of India were burnt up by a long drought, Hamet and Raschid, two neighbouring shepherds, faint with thirst, stood at the common boundary of their grounds, with their flocks and herds panting round them, and in extremity of distress prayed for water. On a sudden the air was becalmed, the birds ceased
to chirp, and the flocks to bleat. They turned their eyes every way, and saw a being of mighty stature advancing through the valley, whom they knew on his nearer approach to be the genius of Distribution. In one hand he held the sheaves of plenty, and in the other the sabre of destruction.
The shepherds stood trembling, and would have retired before him : but he called to them with a voice gentle as the breeze that plays in the evening among the spices of Sabæa ; Flee not from your benefactor, children of the dust! I am come to offer you gifts; which only your own foliy can make vain. You here pray for water, and water I will bestow ; let me know with how much you will be satisfied : speak riot rashly ; consider, that of whatever can be enjoyed by the body, excess is no less dange. rous than scarcity. When you remember the pain of thirst, do uot forget the danger of suffo. cation. Now, Hamet, tell me your request.
“O being, kind and beneficent ! says Hamet, let thine eye pardon my confusion. I entreat a little brook, which in summer shall never be dry, and in winter shall never overflow.
“ It is granted, replied the genius; and immediately he opened the ground with his sabre; when a fountain bubbling up under their feet, scattered its rills over the meadows ; the flowers renewed their fragrance, the trees spread a greener foliage, and the flocks and herds quenched their thirst.
“ Then turning to Raschid, the genius invited him likewise to offer his petition. I request, says Raschid, that thou wilt turn the Ganges through my grounds, with all his waters, and all their inhabitants.
“ Hamet was struck with the greatness of his
neighbour's sentiments, and secretly repined in his heart, that he had not made the same pe. tition before him; when the genius spoke : Rash man, be not insatiable ! Remember, to thee that is nothing, which thou canst not use; and how are thy wants greater than the wants of Hamet?
« Raschid repeated his desire, and pleased himself with the mean appearance that Hamet would make in the presence of the proprietor of the Ganges. The genins then retired to. wards the river, and the two shepherds stood waiting the event.
As Raschid was looking with contempt upon his neighbour, on a sudden was heard the roar of torrents, and they found, by the mighty stream, that the mounds of the Ganges were broken. The flood rolled forward into the lands of Raschid, his plantations were torn up, his flocks overwhelmed, he was swept away before it, and a crocodile devoured him !".-Dr. Johnson.
Is the season of generous emotion; and there, fore it is a period most auspicious to intellectual and moral improvement.
“ In the midst of youth, health, and abun. dance, the world is apt to appear a very gay and pleasing scene; it engages our desires; and in some degree satisfies them also. But it is wisdom to consider, that a time will come when youth, health, and fortune, will all f us ; and if disappointment and vexation do a sour our taste for pleasure, at least sickness * infirmities will destroy it. In these gloon your
seasons, and above all at the approach of death, what will become of us without religion? When this world fails, whither shall we flee if we ex.
pect no refuge in another? Without a holy 10 hope in God, resignation to his will, and trust
in him for deliverance, what is there that can secure us against the evils of life?
Youth is the season to form religious habits ; the earliest principles are generally the most ti lasting ; and those of a religious cast are seldom
wholly lost. Though the temptations of the 10.4 world may now and then draw the well-prinodi cip!ed youth aside; yet his principles being
continually at war with his practice, there is on hope, that in the end the better part may overar come the worse, and bring on a reformation : IF whereas he who has suffered habits of vice to
get possession of his youth, has little chance of
being brought back to a sense of religion. Some Poi calamity must rouse him. He must be awa.
kened by a storm, or sleep for ever. How much better is it, then, to make that easy to us which we know is best ! and to form those habits now, which hereafter we shall wish we had formed!
" Youth is introductory to manhood, to which it is, properly speaking, a state of preparation. During this season we must qualify ourselves for the parts we are to act hereafter. In man. hood we bear the fruit which has in youth been planted. If we have sauntered away our youth, we must expect to be ignorant men.
If indoa lence and inattention have taken an early poses session of us, they will probably increase as we e advance in life, and make us a burden to our. 18 selves, and useless to society. If, again, we 1 Fyffer ourselves to be misled by vicious incli.
itions, they will daily get new strength, and d in dissolute lives.