« AnteriorContinuar »
I 'for if you indulge such emotions as these, your heart will soon
become a prey to envy and discontent. Enjoy, with gratitude, the blessings which you have received from the liberal hand of - Providence; increase them if you can with honour and credit, by a diligent attention to the business for which you are designed; and though your own cup may be filled, rejoice that your neighbour's overflows with plenty. Honour the abilities, and emulate the virtues of Eugenio : but repine not that he is wiser,
richer, or more powerful than yourself. His fortune is expend. 000 ed in acts of humanity, generosity, and hospitality. His supe
riour talents are applied to the instruction of his children ; to
the assistance of his friends; to the encouragement of agriculhich ture, and of every useful art; and to support the cause of liberare ty, and the rights of mankind. And his power is exerted to punalier| ish the guilty, to protect the innocent, to reward the good, and bere to distribute justice, with an equal hand, to all. I feel the afcui fection of a brother for Eugenio ; and esteem myself singularly hare happy in his friendship.'
Insolent Deportment Reproved. 1. SACCHARISSA was about fifteen years of age. Nature had given her a high spirit, and education had fostered it into pride and haughtiness. This temper was displayed in every little competition, which she had with her companions. She could not brook the least opposition from those whom she regarded as her inferiours; and, if they did not instantly submit to her inclination, she assumed all her airs of dignity, and treated them with the most supercilious contempt. She domineered over her father's servants ; always commanding their good of
fices with the voice of authority, disdaining the gentler lan0172) guage of request. Euphronius was one day walking with her,
when the gardener brought her a nosegay, which she had oras it dered him to collect.
2. • Blockhead!' she cried, as he delivered it to ber, what strange flowers you have chosen, and how awkwardly you have may put them together!' • Blame not the man with so much harshpacide ness,' said Euphronius, because his taste is different from crear yours ! He meant to please you; and his good intention merits aind your thanks, and not your censure.' "Thanks ! replied Sac
charissa, scornfully, he is paid for his services, and it is his renin duty to perform tbem.' • And if he does perform them he acube quits himself of his duty,' returned Euphronius. • The obligaDeltion is fulfilled on his side ; and you have no more right to upjail braid him forexecuting your orders according to his best ability, than he has to claim from your father, more wages than were covenanted to be given him.'
3. • But he is a poor dependent,' said Sacharissa. "And earns a livelihood,' answered Euphronius, "the just price of his labour : and if he receives nothing farther from your hands, then account is balanced between you. But a generous person compassionates the lot of those, who are obliged to toil for his benefit or gratification. He lightens their burdens ; treats them with id kindness and affection ; studies to promote their interest and happiness ; and, as much as possible, conceals from them their hom servitude, and his superiority.
4. On the distinctions of rank and fortune he does not set too at the high a value ; and though the circumstances of life require, that had there should be hewers of wood, and drawers of water, yet he ahi forgets not that mankind are by nature equal ; all being the off- se b spring of God, the subjects of his moral government, and joint hi beirs of immortality. A conduct directed by such principles, gives an a master claims which no money can purchase, no labour can re-A pay. His affection can only be compensated by love; his kind of ness by gratitude, and his cordiality by the service of the heart.' Soal
Monition to Parents. 1. It is to be wished, that parents would consider what a va priry riety of circumstances tend to render the evil reports of their ribut children, respecting their teachers, false and exaggerated.lt They judge hastily, partially, imperfectly, and improperly, from 2 il the natural defects and weakness of their age. They, likewise, tish too often intentionally misrepresent things. They hate those kied. who restrain them; they feel resentment for correction, al- H though inflicted for the basest misconduct; they love change; Htmes they love idleness, and the indulgences of their home.
2. Like all human creatures, they are apt not to know when i they are well treated, and to complain. Let parents then con il sider these things impartially, and be cautious of aspersing the di ter character, and disturbing the happiness of those who may proba- feath bly deserve thanks rather than ill usage ; whose office is at best full of care and anxiety; and when it is interrupted by the in- She judicious interference or complaints of the parents, becomes in the tolerably burdensome. If a parent suspect their confidence to lial have been misplaced, it is best to withdraw it immediately, dinc without altercation and without reproaches. . 3. It would also be an excellent method of consulting their own peace, and the welfare of their other scholars, if preceptors bez made a rule to exclude from their schools the children of those inte ze parents who are unjustly discontented. I have often heard old
and experienced instructers declare, that the whole business of and managing a large school, and training the pupils to learning and mis virtue, was nothing in comparison with the trouble which was
given by whimsical, ignorant, and discontented parents.
Arachne and Melissa. 1. A good temper is one of the principal ingredients of hap, piness. This, it will be said, is the work of nature, and must be born with us; and so, in a good measure, it is; yet it may be acquired by art, and improved by culture. Almost every object that attracts our notice, has a bright and a dark side; and he that habituates himself to look at the displeasing side, will sour his disposition, and consequently impair his happiness; while he who beholds it on the bright side; insensivly melio
rates his temper; and, by this means, improves his own happiEite ness, and the happiness of all about him. D 2.. Arachne and Melissa are two friends. They are alike ip
birth, fortune, education, and accomplishments. They were er originally alike in temper too; but by different management,
are grown the reverse of each other. Arachne has accustomed herself to look only on the dark side of every object. If a new
literary work makes its appearance with a thousand beauties, ther and but one or two blemishes, she slightly skims over the pascare sages, that should give her pleasure, and dwells upon those only
that fill her with dislike. If you show her an excellent portrait, she looks at some part of the drapery, that has been ne glected, or to a hand, or a finger which has been left unfinished.
3. Her garden is a very beautiful one, and kept with great neatness and elegance ; but if you take a walk with her into it,
she talks to you of nothing but blights and storms, of snails and probleme caterpillars, and how impossible it is to keep it from the litter
of falling leaves, and worm casts. If you sit down in one of
her temples, to enjoy a delightful prospect, she observes to you Grote that there is too much wood or too little water; that the day is the too sunny, or too gloomy; that it is sultry or windy ; and Det hinishes with a long harangue upon the wretchedness of our cliLaste mate. When you return with her to the company, in hopes red of a little cheerful conversation, she casts a gloom over all, by
giving you the history of her own bad health, or of some melancholy accident that has befallen one of her children. Thus she insensibly sinks her own spirits, and the spirits of all around ber; and at last discovers, she knows not why, that her friends are grape.
4. Melissa is the reverse of all this. By habituating herself to look on the bright side of objects, she preserves a perpetual cheerfulness in herself, which, by a kind of happy contagion, she communicates to all about her. If any misfortune has befallen her, she considers that it might have been worse, and is thankful to Providence for an escape. She rejoices in solitude, as it gives her an opportunity of knowing herself; and in society, because she communicates the happiness she enjoys. She opposes every man's failings to his virtues, and can find out something to cherish and applaud in the very worst of her acquaint: ance. She opens every book with a desire to be entertained or instructed, and, therefore, seldom misses what she looks for. Walk with her, though it be but on a heath or a common, and she will discover numberless beauties, unobserved before, in the hills, the dales, the brooms, brakes, and the variegated flowers of weeds and poppies. She enjoys every change of weather, and of season, as bringing with it some advantages of health or convenience.
5. In conversation, you never hear her repeating her own grievances, or those of her neighbours, or (what is worst of all) their faults and imperfections. If any thing of the latter kind be mentioned in her hearing, she has the address to turn it into entertainment, by changing the most odious railing into a pleasant raillery. Thus Melissa, like the bee, gathers honey from every weed : while Arachne, like the spider, sucks poison from the fairest flowers. The consequence is, that of two tempers, once very nearly allied, the one is forever sour and dissatisfied, the other always pleased and cheerful ; the one spreads a uni- ] versal gloom, the other a continual sunshine.
: To Parents. 1. To you, who are parents, nature itself has given a tender concern for your children's welfare as your own; and reminds you justly, that, as you have brought them into the dangers of life, your business is to provide that they get well through them. Now, the only provision commonly attended to, of wealth and honours, can never produce happiness, unless the mind, on which all depends, be taught to enjoy them properly. Fortube, without this, will but lead them to more abandoned sallies of extravagance, and expose them to more public censure.' Education, then, is the great care with which you are entrusted; scarcely more for their sakes than your own. You may be negligent of your son's instruction, but it is on you, as well as himself, that his ignorance and contemptibleness will bring bota
reproach and inconvenience. You may be regardless of his morals ; but you may be the person who will at last most severe
ly feel the want of them. be...2. You may be indifferent about his religion ; but remember.
dutifulness to you is one great principle of religion, and unless you promote such habits, by cultivating them in him,
you may bitterly repent the omission when too late, and op die miserable on his account, whom timely care would have
made your joy and comfort. Therefore, in a case of such mo
ment, let no false shame nor favourite passion prevail over yon, 211: but give your hearts wholly to the Lord who made you.''
3. Lay the foundation of your lives here on the firm ground of Christian faith; and build upon it whatever is just and good,
worthy and noble, till the structure be complete in moral beauty. at The world, into which your children are entering, lies in wait
for them with a variety of temptations. Unfavourable sentiments ge of religion will soon be suggested to them, and all the snares of
luxury, false honour, and interest, spread in their way, which, with most of their rank, are too successful, and to many, fatal.
4. Happy the few, who, in any part of life, become sensible of their errours, and with painful resolution, tread back the wrong steps which they have taken ! But happiest of men is he, who, by an even course of right conduct, from the first, as far as human frailty permits, has at once avoided the miseries
of sin, the sorrows of repentance, and the difficulties of virtue; aper who not only can think of his present state with composure,
but reflect on his past behaviour with thankful approbation"; and look forward with unmixed joy to that important future hour, when he shall appear before God, and humbly offer to Him a whole life spent in his service.
Youth, the proper season for gaining Knowledge. ', 1. The duty which young people owe to their instructers,
cannot be better shown than in the effect which the instructions then they receive have upon them. They would do well, therefore, 3 ak to consider the advantages of an early attention to these two Heat things, both of great importance, knowledge and religion. TUDE 2. The great use of knowledge, in all its various branches, pot is to free the mind from the prejudices of ignorance; and to
give it juster and more enlarged conceptions than are the mere Eted growth of rude nature. By reading, we add the experience of y others to our own. It is the improvement of the mind chiefly,
that makes the difference between man and man, and gives one bing man a real superiority over another.