Page images
PDF
EPUB

perhaps, not inclined to sleep; but he retires to rest cheerfully, because that is the hour appointed by his master. 9. Thus, with resolution, does a boy perform the duties of youth; and, as each day, this disposition strengthens by exertion, he will, in a similar manner, be enabled to fulfil the more enlarged duties of manhood.

10. But, on the contrary, without resolution, a boy hears the morning bell; he is sleepy, he turns, therefore, round, and indulges another slumber. 11. A second bell rings. 12. At last, a third summons forces him to rise. 13. He goes down yawning; he receives a reproof from his master, which does not correct him: le scarcely hears it. 14. Seated at his lessons, for awhile, he is asleep; when he is roused, his thoughts turn to play; unaccustomed to restrain them, he cannot check their wandering, 15. Thus unimproved do his hours for study pass. 16. Deeming it impossible to endure hunger or thirst, his pockets are always stored with cakes and apples, to gratify his appetite. 17. So eating employs a large part of his time. 18. Night being come, he thinks it very hard to go to bed without being sleepy. 19. Murmuring, he retires to his chamber; then devises some method of keeping awake for an hour or two, by contriving some play with the boys in the same room. 20. His days, thus unheeded, fly, and leave no remembrance of one hour well improved. 21. This disposition is confirmed by habit; therefore, in the same lifeless and useless manner will he probably pass his life.

CHAP. XI.

Of Greatness.

1. Weal-thy, a. very rich, opulent.

Digʻ-ni-ties, s. pl. honours. (Grandeur, rank.) 10. Re-luc'-tance, s. unwillingness, repugnance. 12. Bub'-ble, s. a cheat, a mere nothing. (A small bladder of water.) 15. Cour'-ti-er, s. one who frequents the courts of princes. One who

solicits and endeavours to engage the affections or esteem of

another. 16. E-ner'-va-ted, part. weakened, rendered effeminate, or more like

E”-le-va'-ti-on, s. the act of raising.
Sen'-ti-ment, s. thought or opinion.

a woman.

1. For an illustration of Greatness, we will imagine a wealthy nobleman surrounded with grandeur: who is high in favour with his prince; loaded with dignities; and wherever he turns, he commands obeisance. 2. This man is certainly called a great man, a man of consequence, and so he thinks himself. 3. So wrapped up is he in his own conceit, that the cry of misery or poverty never reaches his ear,

4. He feels no want-but-the greatest of all wants, that of a virtuous mind, and the peace which virtue brings. 5. Now, we will imagine another man, who once held a similar exalted station. 6. Circumstances the most cruel bave reduced him to poverty. 7. He has no resource but to quit the world,* and to retire, with his family, to a remote part of the country. 8. A bumble hut his residence, and not one servant has he now to bring him even common necessaries; he who once had numberless attendants, ready to fly each time he turned his head! 9. To procure his children even bread, to sustain life, he must labour with his hands. 10. Without reluctance, without one murmur, he receives his lot; he becomes a gardener. 11. His daily pay proves sufficient to support his family; and his mind is now at ease.

* By the world is here to be understood Society,

12. Grandeur he regrets not. He ses it is a bubble, a nothing: which a breath, lighter even than wind, can disperse. 13. But worldly losses have no power to chake his great and good mind. 14. Man, in every station, may contemplate the beauties of nature; may admire a God, in all his works: and look up with hope to heaven, as to his eternal and blissful home. 15. Such were the reflections of this fallen courtier : and he found himself happy. 6. And this was the great man; for he was master of himself, of his own mind, and of his own passions; and those who are enervated by pleasure and luxury have not this power or dominion, consequently cannot be great: for true greatness does not consist in grandeur, but in elevation of sentiment, and nobleness of mind.

CHAP. XII.

Chance.

2. I-ma"-gine, v. to think, to fancy. 3. Paint'-er, s. one who represents things in colours. Foam, s. the white spittle which appears in the mouth of a high

mettled horse. Sponge, s. a soft porous substance, used for sucking water.

Po-rous, a. having small holes or pores.
De-spair', s. deep sorrow, sadness.

De-si'gn, s. intention, aim.
4. Ob’-vi-ous, 4. plain, evident, clear.

A-wa're, a, cautious, apprized. 5. Vague, a. indefinite, not to be defined. In-de-ter'-mi-pate, a. unfixed; not restrained to any particular

time, circumstance, or meaning.

1. CHANCE is a term we apply to events to denote that they happen without any necessary or foreknown cause. 2. When we say a thing happens by chance, we mean no more than that its cause is unknown to us, and not, as some vainly imagine, that chance itself can be the cause of anything. 3. “The case of the painter,” says Chambers, “who, unable to express the foam at the mouth of the horse he had painted, threw his sponge, in despair, at the piece, and by chance did that which he could not do before by design, is an eminent instance of what is called chance. 4. Yet it is obvious all' we here mean by chance, is, that the painter was not aware of the effect, or that he did not throw the sponge with such a view : not but that he actually did every thing necessary to produce the effect; insomuch, that considering the direction where he threw the sponge, together with its form and specific gravity, * the colours wherein it was smeared, and the distance of the hand from the piece, it was impossible, on the present system of things, that the effects should not follow.” 5. The word, as it is often used by the unthinking, is vague and indeterminate—a mere name for nothing.

* Specific gravity is that by which one body is heavier than another of the same dimensions, and is always as the quantity of matter under the dimension.

CHAP. XIII.

The Nightingale.

2. A"-ni-mate, v. to enliven, To give life to; to encourage, or excite: 3. Bril-li-ant, a. (pro. bril-yant,) fine, shining, sparkling,

In-im'-i-ta-ble, a. not to be imitated.

Me-lo-di-ous, a. harmonious, musical. 4. Ex-te'-ri-or, a. outward, external. 5. Com-pen'-sa-ted, pret. paid, requited.

Ir-re-sist-i-bly, ad. in a manner not to be opposed. 8. Ra-pid-i-ty, s. swiftness.

Tor' -rent, s. a sudden or very rapid stream. A crowd. 10. Es'-ti-ma-ble, a, valuable, worthy of esteem. 13. Sage, so a person of gravity and wisdom. A plant.

Saint, s. a person eminent for piety and virtue. 22. 0"-ri-fice, si any opening or hole.

Pi'-ous, a. religious. 23. Di-vi'ne, a. heavenly, godlike.

1. The nightingale is a musician of the first rank among the inhabitants of the air. 2. When all the birds, who, during day, entertained us with their notes, cease to be heard, it is then that the voice of the nightingale is raised to animate the woods and groves. 3. When we listen to the brilliant sounds of that voice, we are apt to conclude that the bird must be large, the throat must have great strength; and the inimitable charm of her melodious notes makes us presume she surpasses all others in the beauty of her form. 4. But it would be to no purpose to seek these advantages in the nightingale : it is a bird of poor appearance, whose colour, form, and the whole exterior, is void of any thing attractive or majestic, and has nothing in the least distiu. guishing. 5. Nature has, however, compensated for its plainness, by giving it a voice irresistibly

« PreviousContinue »