« AnteriorContinuar »
D. By leading the mind to love the process by which learning is acquired, and then to vàlue the acquisition.
E. How are these desirable objects to be obtained ?
D. Think what adyantages of wealth and honor, what authority and power, learning has secured to its possessors. Reflect that it is knowledge which makes man to differ from the brute.
E. You say well.
D. Then it is needful that your faculties should be brought into proper subjection, and that the mind should find delight in those things that serve rather for utility, than pleasure. The things that are in th ir own nature excellent, though they may at first seem irksome, will speedily become delightful; and then the master will rejoice in his scholar, and the scholar will learn with facility, according to the saying of Isocrates, worthy to be inscribed in letters of gold, as a frontispiece to your book,—“HE THAT HAS HIS HEART IN HIS LEARNING, WILL SOON
E. I do not complain of want of quickness of learning, but of uncommon proneness to forget.
D. Your complaint is, that your head is like a sieve.
D. Not by cement, but by diligence and attention. He that regards the words and not the sense of an author, will soon forget all.
Words," as Homer says, are winged, and will soon take their flight, unless the weight of meaning fasten them down.” Your first care, therefore, should be to obtain a clear understanding of the meaning, which is then to be subjected to mature consideration; for which purpose, the mind should be brought to bear upon it at different times. If the imagination be so much disposed to wandering, that it will not submit to this discipline, it is unfit for profitable study.
E. That is not an easy task, I know very well.
D. Where the mind is so volatile, as to be incapable of fixing on one particular subject, it can not retain what is heard or read. Lead may be made to receive and retain an impression, for its substance is both soft and stable ; but how can water or quicksilver retain an impression ? If the attention be brought under the government of the intellect, and you diligently attend the company of learned men, you will find their conversation to be profitable beyond conception, and your acquisitions will be made with little toil; for, besides the discourse of your companions, and their regular daily instruction, suppose you hear in the morning eight words of wisdom, and the same number in the evening, how great will be the sum at the end of the year!
E. Very great, indeed, if I could but remember it.
D. If you hear nothing but Latin well spoken, what is to hinder your speaking it well also in a few months ? for ignorant boys will acquire the French or Spanish language in a very short
space of time, by this means. É. I will follow your counsel, and endeavor to discipline my mind to attention.
D. I know of no other “ art of memory,” but love, care, and industry. Hear nothing but what you ought to hear. Read nothing but what you ought to read. Hear with attention. Read with attention. Let your heart be upon the subject. Love it for its sake, and for your own sake, and . for the sake of others, to whom, if you remember, you may repeat it. Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never idle away time, and with care you will surely succeed. The memory is a faithful friend, if properly cultivated, and may as well be employed for a good purpose as a bad one.
QUESTIONS.-1. What curious book is mentioned? 2. What was it said could be acquired by it in a fortnight? 3. How alone can learning be obtained ? 4. Of what advantage is it? 5. What is the saying of Isocrates ? 6. How may we remember what we learn? 7. What then is the art of memory?
What Rules for the different inflections, first verse'? How are the different speakers in this dialogue to be personated ? How should the quotation from Isocrates be read? Are the inflections as marked on trouble and requires according to the general rule? What causes this variation? What example of antithetic emphasis in the last sentence of this lesson ?
LESSON LXXIII. SPELL AND DEFINE-1. Pitted, set in competition, as in a debate. 2. DECLAMATION, a speech made in the tone and manner of an oration. 3. DE DU'CI BLE, capable of being drawn from; inferable. 4. CHAGRIN', vexation. 5. INJUDICIous, void of judgment; unwise. 6. SonNETS, short poems. 7. EGOTIST, one who talks much about himself. 8. Dis CORD'ANT, disagreeing. 9. Avert'Ed, turned away. 10. TRANS. MU'TING, changing 11. PROLIF:C, productive. 12. LAUD'ABLE, praisa
worthy. ADAPTATION, suitableness to circumstances, or a regard to what is suitable. 14. OBTRU'DED, thrust in by force. 15. OBTUSE'NESS, bluntness; dullness.
MRS. ELLIS. 1. There can not be a greater mistake in the science of being agreeable, than to suppose that conversation must be made a business. Oh! the misery of being pitted against a professional talker !-one who looks from side to side until a vacant ear is found, and commences a battery of declamation, if you will not answer, and of argument, if you will.
2. Indeed, the immense variety of annoyances, deducible from ill-managed conversation, is a sufficient proof of its importance in society; and any one disposed to dispute this fact, needs only recall the many familiar instances of disappointment and chagrin, which all who mix, in any manner, with what is called the world, must have experienced from mistaken views of what is agreeable in conversation.
3. It would be vain to attempt an enumeration of the different aspects, under which this peculiar annoyance presents itself. A few heads will be sufficient, under which to arrange the different classes of injudicious talkers. Yet among these, even the most inveterate, may be found worthy individuals, whose qualifications for imparting both instruction and amusement, are by no means contemptible.
4. Entitled to distinction in the art of annoyance, are those who are perpetually talking about themselves. It is not of much consequence what is the nature of the subject proposed to their attention. If the weather, “ It does not agree with me, I like the wind from the west.” If the politics of the country in which they live, “I have not given much attention to politics.” If any moral quality in the abstract is discussed, “Oh, that is just my fault !” or, “If I possess any virtue, I do not think it is that.”
5. If the beauty of any distant place, is described, “ I never was there, but my uncle once was within ten miles of it; and had it not been for the miscarriage of a letter, I should have been his companion on that journey! My uncle was always fond of taking me with him. Dear good man, I was a great favorite of his !” If the lapse of time is the subject of conversation, " The character undergoes many changes in a few years. I wonder whether, or in what way, mine will be al
tered two years hence.” If the moon, How many people write sonnets to the moon!' I never did.”
6. And thus sun, moon, and stars,—the whole created universe,—are but links in that continuous chain, which vibrates with perpetual music to the egotist, connecting all things in heaven and earth, however discordant, by a perfect and harmonious union with self.
7. Another class of annoying talkers, whose claims to eminence in this line I am in no way disposed to contest, consists of the talkers of mere common-place,—those who say nothing but what we could have said our
urselves, had we deemed it worth our while, and who never, on any occasion, or by any chance, give utterance to a new idea.
8. Such people will talk. They seem to consider it their especial duty to talk, and no symptoms of inattention in their hearers, no impatient answer, no averted ear, nor even the interminable monotony of their own prattle, has the power to hush them to silence. If they fail in one thing, they try another; but, unfortunately for them, there is a transmuting medium in their own discourse, that would turn to dust the golden opinions of the wisest of men.
9. Another and most prolific source of annoyance, is found among that class of persons who choose to converse on subjects interesting to themselves, without regard to time, or place, or general appropriateness. Whatever they take up, either as their ruling topic, or as one of momentary interest, is forced upon a company, whether in season, or out of season; and they often feel surprised and mortified that their favorite subjects, in themselves perhaps well chosen, are received by others with so cold a welcome. How many worthy individuals, whose minds are richly stored, and whose laudable desire is to disseminate useful knowledge, entirely defeat their own ends by this want of adaptation; and many, whose conversation might be both amusing and instructive, from this cause, seldom meet with a patient hearer.
10. Nor must we forget, among the abuses of conversation, the random talkers,--those who talk from impulse only, and rush upon you with whatever happens to be uppermost in their own minds, or most pleasing to their fancy at the time, without waiting to ascertain whether the individual they ad. dress, is sad or merry,—at liberty to listen, or pre-occupied with some weightier and more interesting subject.
11. Whatever the topic of conversation, thus obtruded upon a company, may be, it is evident there must be a native
obtuseness and vulgarity in the mind of the individuals who thus offend, or they would wait before they spoke, to tune their voice to some degree of harmony with the feelings of those around them. Thus, we have noticed a few of the abuses of conversation, and of such we have, perhaps already, had more than enough, though the catalogue might easily be continued through many volumes.
QUESTIONS.--1. What great mistake is mentioned in the first verse ? 2. How have all experienced disappointinent? 3. What is said of those who talk about themselves? 4. Of the talkers of mere common-place? 5. Of those who converse on subjects interesting merely to themselves? 6. Of random talkers ? 7. What must evidently be in the mind of such individuals ?
There are twenty-four capital letters in the fourth and lifth verses ;how do you account for each ?
LESSON LXXIV. SPELL ĄND DEFINE-1. HAMMOC, a hanging bed, suspended by cords. 2. SECRETED, concealed; hid. 3. EC'STA SY, excessive joy ; rapture. 4, IMPEARLED, decorated, as with pearls. 5. LAR'UMS, alarms; gives notice of danger. 6. SHROUDS, large ropes extending from the top of a mast to each side of a ship, to support the mast. 7. FATHOM, a measure of six feet. 8. Circle, to move round, or in a circle. 9. Čon'al, a hard substance, or shell of a marine animal, growing in the sea like a plant.
Be careful to avoid a singing tone in reading this lesson.
THE YOUNG MARINER'S DREAM.
DIMOND. 1. In slumbers of midnight the sailor boy lay,
His hammoc swung loose at the sport of the wind;
2. He dreamed of his home, of his dear native bowers,
And pleasures that waited on life's merry morn;
memory each scene gayly covered with flowers, And restored every rose, but secreted its thorn. 3. Then fancy her magical pinions spread wide,
And bade the young dreamer in ecstasy rise ;-
And the cot of his forefathers blesses his eyes.