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THE ENGLISH READER.

PART I.

PIECES IN PROSE.

CHAPTER 1.

SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS.

SECTION I.

D

ILIGENCE, industry, and proper improvement

of time, are material duties of the young. The acquisition of knowledge is one of the most honourable occupations of youth.

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

Virtuous youth gradually brings forward accomplished and flourishing manhood.

proper lustre.

NOTE.

In the first chapter, the Compiler has exhibited sentences in a great variety of construction, and in all the diversity of punc. luation. If well practiced upon, be presumes they will tully prepare the young reader for the various pauses, inflections, and modulations of voice, which the succeeding pieces require. The Author's English Exercises, under the head of Punctuation, will afford the learner additional scope for improving himself, in reading sentences and paragraphs rariously constructed.

Sincerity and truth form the basis of every virtue.

Disappointments and distress are often blessings in disguise.

Change anul alteration form 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 most be our first stady to rectify inward disorders.

Whatever purifies, fortifies also the heart.

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

A temperate spirit, and moderate expectations, are excellent safeguards of the mind in this uncertain and changing state.

There is nothing, except simplicity of intention, and purity 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 hiin.

Tranquillity of mind is always most likely to be at. tained, when the business of the world is tempered with thoughtful 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 human 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 nuble spirit.

Patience, by preserving composure within, resists the inpression which trouble nakes from without.

Compassonate affections, even when they draw tears from our eyes for human misery, convey satisfac. tion to the heart.

C

They who have nothing to give, can often afford relief to others, by iinparting 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 veil which covers from our sight the events of succeeding years, is a veil woven by the hand of mer, cy,

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

en.

SECTION II.

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THE chief misfortunes that befall us in lite can be traced to some vices or follies which we have committed.

Were we to survey the chainbers of sickness and distress, we should often find them peopled with the victims of intemperance and sensuality, and with the children of vicious indolence and sloth.

To be wise io our own eyes, to be wise in the opinson 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 highest earthly glory, is but a reed floating on the stream of time, and forced to follow every new direction of the current.

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

The external misfortunes of life, disappointments, poverty, and sickness, are light in comparison of those in ward distresses of mind, occasioned by folly, by passion, and by guilt.

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

Moral and religious instruction derives its efficacy, not so much from what men are taught to know,as from what they 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 enquiry, we have established our principles, let us not suffer them to be shaken the scoffs of the licentious, or the cavils of the-sceptical.

When we observe any tendency to treat religion or morals with disrespect and' levity, let us hold it to be a sure indication of a perverted understanding, or a depraved heart.

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

Luxury, pride, and vanity, have frequently as much influence in corrupting the sentiments of the great, as ignorance, bigotry, and prejudice, have in misleading the opinions of the multitude.

Mised as the present state is, reason and religion pronounce, that generally, if not always, there is more Þappiness than misery, more pleasure than pain, in the condition of map.

Society, when formed, requires distinctions of pro. perty, diversity of conditions, subordination of ranks, and a multiplicity of occupations, in order to advance the general good.

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 18 connected with many accomplishments, and many virtues.

Innocence confers ease and freedom on the mind; and leaves 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 to alleviate the burden of common mise

ry:

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

Virtue, to become either vigorous or useful, 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 ordinary breeze, which purifies the air and renders it healthtul,

The happiness of every man depends more upon the state of his own mind. than upon any one external circumstance; nay more than upoc all external things put together.

In no station, in no period, let us think ourselves secure from the dangers which spring from our pas. siops. 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 criminal 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 to commune with himself in retireinent, will,sometimes at least, hear the truths which the multitude do not tell him. A more sound instructer will lift his voice, and awaken within the heart those latent sug. gestions, which the world had overpowered and suppressed.

Amusement often becomes the business, instead of the relaxation of young persons ; it is then highly perpicious.

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