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PART 1.

PIECES IN PROSE

CHAPTER 1

SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS.

SECTION i.

DILIGENCE, industry, and proper improvement of time, are material duties of the young.

The acquisition of k:owledge is one of the most honour. able occupations of youth.

Whatever useful or engaging endowments we possess, virtue is requisite, in order to their shining with proper lustre.

Virtuous youth gradually brings forward accomplished and flourishing manhood.

Sincerity and truth form the basis of every virtue. Disappointments and distress are often blessings in disguise. Change and alteration forin the very essence of the world.

True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise.

In order to acquire a capacity for happiness, it must be pur first study to rectify inward disorders.

Whatever purifies, fortifies also the heart.

From our eagerness to grasp, we strangle and destroy pleasure.

NOTE. In the first chapter, the compiler has exhibited sentences in a great variety of construction, and in all the diversity of punctuation. If well practised upon,

he presumes they will fully prepare the young reader for the various pauses, infections, and modulations of voice, which the • icceeding pieces require. The Author's “ English Exercises," under Tie head of Punctuation, will afford the learner additional scope for im foving himself in reading sentences and paragraphs variously con bructed

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A temperate spirit, and moderate expectations, are er cellent safeguards of the mind, in this uncertain and chang ing state.

There is nothing, except simplicity of intention, and pu. rity of principle, that can stand the test of near approach and strict examination.

The value of any possession is to be chiefly estimated, by the relief which it can bring us in the time of our greatest need. No

person who has once yielded up the government of his mind, and given loose rein to his desires and passions, can tell how far they may carry him.

'Tranquillity of mind is always most likely to be attained when the business of the world is tempered with thought. ful and serious retreat..

He who would act like a wise man, and build his house on the rock, and not on the sand, should contemplate hu. man life, not only in the sunshine, but in the shade.

Let usefulness and beneficence, not ostentation and vanity, direct the train of your pursuits.

To maintain a steady and unbroken mind, amidst all the shocks of the world, marks a great and noble spirit.

Patience, by preserving composure within, resists the impression which trouble makes from without.

Compassionate affections, even when they draw fears from our eyes for human misery, convey satisfaction to the heart.

They who have nothing to give, can often afford relief to others, by imparting what they feel.

Our ignorance of what is to come, and of what is really good or evil, should correct anxiety about worldly success.

The vcil which covers from our sight the events of suc. ceeding years, is a veil woven by the hand of mercy.

The best preparation for all the uncertainties of futurity consists in a well-ordered mind, a good conscience, and a cheerful submission to the will of Heaven.

SECTION II. The chief misfortunes that befall us in life, can be traces lo some vices or follies which we have committed.

Were we to survey the chambers of sickness and distress, we should often find them peopled with the victims of in temperance and sensuality, and with the children of vi cious indolence and sloth.

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1'o be wise in our own eyes, to be wise in the opinion of the world, and to be wise in the sight of our Creator, are three things so very different, as rarely to coincide.

Man, in his bighest earthly glory, is but a reed floating on the stream of time, and forced to follow every new di. rection of the current.

The corrupted temper, and the guilty passions of the bad, frustrate the effect of every advantage which the world confers on them.

The external misfortunes of life, disappointments, pov. erty, and sickness, are light in comparison of those inward distresses of mind, occasioned by folly, hy passion, and by guilt.

No station is so high, no power so great, no character so amblemished, as to exempt men from the attacks of rashdess, malice, or envy.

Moral and religious instruction derives its efficacy, not 80 much from what men are taught to know, as from what ibey are brought to feel.

He who pretends to great sensibility towards men, and yet has no feeling for the high objects of religion, no heart to admire and adore the great Father of the universe, has reason to distrust the truth and delicacy of his sensibility.

When, upon rational and sober inquiry, we have established our principles, let us not suffer them to be shaken by the scoffs of the licentious, or the cavils of the sceptical.

When we observe any tendency to treat religion or mo rals with disrespect and levity, let us hold it to be a sure in. dication of a perverted understanding, or a depraver heart

Every degree of guilt incurred by yielding to ter ptation, tends to debase the mind, and to weaken the gercrous and benevolent principles of human nature.

Luxury, pride, and vanity, have frequently as much in Huence in corrupting the sentiments of the great, as igno.. rance, bigotry, and prejudice, have in mislearing the opinions of the multitude.

Mixed as the present state is, reason aad religion pronounce, that generally, if not always, there is more happiness than misery, more pleasure than pain, in the condition

of man.

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Society, when formed, requires dis'inctions of property, diversity of conditions, subordination of ranks, and a multiplicity of occupations, in order to advance the gener. good

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That the temper, the 'sentiments, the morality, and, in general, the whole conduct and character of men, are influenced by the example and disposition of the persons with whom they associate, is a reflection which has long since passed into a proverb), and been ranked among the standing maxims of human wisdom, in all ages of the world.

SECTION III. The desire of improvement discovers a liberal mind, and is connected with many accomplishments, and many virtues.

Innocence confers ease and freedom on the mind; and 'éaves it open to every pleasing sensation.

Moderate and simple pleasures relish high with the temperate : in the midst of his studied refinements, the voluptuary languishes.

Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manners; and, by a constant train of humane attentions, studies ta alleviate the burden of common misery.

That gentleness which is the characteristic of a good man, has, like every other virtue, its sent in the heart : and, let me adı, nothing, except what flows from the heart, can render even external manners truly pleasing.

Virtue, to become either vigorous or nesul, must be habitually active : not breaking forth occasionally with a transient lustre, like the blaze of a comet; but regular in its returns, like the light of day: not like the aromatic gale, which sometimes feasts the sense ; but like the orilinary breeze, which purifies the air, and renders it healthfil.

The happiness of every man depends more upon the state of his own mind, than upon any one external circunstance : nay, more than upon all external things put together.

In no station, in no period, let us think ourselves secure from the dangers which spring from our passions. Every age, and every station they beset; from youth to gray hairs, and from the peasant to the prince.

Riches and pleasures are the chief temptations to crimi. aal deeds. Yet those riches, when obtained, may very possibly overwhelm us with unforeseen miseries.

Those pleasures may cut short our health and life.

He who is accustomed to turn aside from the world, and commune with himself in retirement, will, sometimes at least, hear the truths which the multitude do not tell

À more sound instructer will lift his voice, and

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