« AnteriorContinuar »
SLOTH. The whole structure of our nature, and the whole condition of our being, prove that our Maker intended us, not for a life of indolence, but for one of active exertion. All the organs of the body, and all the faculties of the mind, are instruments of action, and are to be employed in the vigorous pursuit of happiness.
It is only by constant exercise, that these powers can be preserved in a sound and healthful state. If the body be suffered to remain long inactive, it will lose its strength and become a prey to disease ; at the same time, the mental faculties will be gradually enfeebled, and the whole fabric of human happiness be undermined by fretfulness and spleen.
It is, on the contrary, a matter of constant experience, that a regular course of bodily exercise is conducive to health, exhilarates the spirits, and contributes to the easy and successful employment of the intellectual powers.
THE ART OF HAPPINESS. A GOOD temper is one of the principal ingredients of happiness. Almost every object that attracts our notice, has its bright and its dark side. He that habituates himself to look at the displeasing side, will sour his disposition, and consequently impair his happiness; while he who constantly beholds it on the bright side, insensibly ameliorates his temper, and in consequence of it, improves his own happiness, and the happiness of all around him. By this practice, we may arrive at that easy benevolence of temper, which the world calls good-nature, and the scriptures charity, whose natural, and never failing fruit is happiness.
KOSCIUSKO. In the invasion of France, in 1814, some Polish regiments, in the service of Russia, passed through the village, where this exiled patriot then lived. Some pillaging of the inhabitants brought Kosciusko from his cottage.
" When I was a Polish soldier,” said he, addressing the plunderers, "the property of the peaceful citizen was respected.” “ And who art thou,” said an officer, “ who addresses us with a tone of authority ? “I am Kosciusko."
There was magic in the word. It ran from corps to corps. The march was suspended. They gathered round him, and 'gazed with astonishment and awe upon the weighty ruin he presented. “Could he indeed be their hero, whose fame was identified with that of their country?” А thousand interesting reflections burst upon their minds; they remembered his patriotism, bis devotion to liberty, his triumphs and his glorious fall. Their iron hearts were softened, and the tear of sensibility trickled down their weather-beaten faces.
GAIETY. Gaiety is to good humor as animal perfumes to vegetable fragrance. The one overpowers weak spirits, the other recreates and renews them. Gaiety seldom fails to give some pain ; the hearers either strain their faculties to accompany its towerings, or are left behind in envy or despair. Good humor boasts no faculties which every one does not believe in his own power, and pleases principally by not offending
CLEANLINESS. The preserving of the surface of the body perfectly clean is an indispensable' means for securing the health, vigor, and longevity of the system. This should be done by washing in cold water, and by frequently changing the clothing, especially in summer.
The use of the bath, independent of its effects in cleansing the body, facilitates the free circulation of the blood, throughout every part of the system. After bathing, gentle exercise should be taken.
ON A LADY'S WRITING.
Neat as her dress, and polished as her brow;
Correct though free, and regular though fair :
THE FLIES AND THE SPIDER.
An old fly, meeting a young one, on a fine morning in Autumn, warned him against going into any garden or field; as the spiders had worked webs among the trees, to catch their prey, and he would, without doubt, be killed and eaten by them.
The young fly heard the advice of the old one, but did not take it, for he ventured to the nearest garden, where he thought he could buzz delightfully about the arbor; but in his way thither, he dashed into a large web, where he was caught. The old spider watched him slily from the centre of his web, and delighted himself in hearing his cries, and distress. At length, he rushed upon him, stuck in his fangs, and drew blood.
" Alas !” said the poor fly, as he was fast dying, “ an old friend told me of my danger, but I did not mind his advice.” “ That was thy fault, and not mine," said the spider; and then swallowed him up.
PROVERBS. • One bad sheep mars a whole flock.” This is a trite truth, and a proverb among several nations. It admonishes us of the danger of associating with those who are vicious; such society is like an infectious distemper, and therefore, ought to be most carefully and industriously avoided.
“ It is good to make hay while the sun shines.” This proverb is a great encouragement to virtue and goodness; it teaches us to let no time escape us, without serving and doing good to ourselves and our neighbors. It calls upon us to be ever active and vigorous, and particularly to let no
good opportunity that is presented pass by unimproved, for doing a duty to ourselves or others.
" When the steed is stolen, shut the stable door.” This proverb intimates, that it is highly imprudent to neglect weighing all the circumstances of an action, both as to time and place, before we venture upon doing what perhaps we may repent of afterwards.
When the event is over, we are as wise as experience can make us. Almost all the miscarriages of mankind are for want of thought; after-wit is commonly dearly bought, and we pay for it, either with misfortune, anxiety, or sorrow. After a misfortune has happened to us for want of precaution and foresight, an after-thought may enhance our troubles, but cannot relieve our distress; it may prevent a like inconvenience for the future, but cannot make any satisfaction for what is past.
“ He steals a goose and gives the giblets in alms." This proverb points at those, who, by acts of injustice, oppression, and fraud, amass to themselves large estates, and think to atone for their rapine by doing some charitable acts, while they are alive, or leaving their property to endow hospitals, or alms-houses, after their death. Such donations are commendable when made with a truly christian spirit, but the opinions of those we allude to are highly disparaging to the justice of Providence.
GENERAL WOLFE. When the immortal Wolfe received his death on the heights of Quebec, his principal care was that he should not be seen to fall. “ Support me," said he to such as were near hin, “ let not my brave soldiers see me drop; the day is ours ! Oh, keep it;" and with these words he expired.