« ПредишнаНапред »
with an elocution forcible, brilliant, and varied, while, at the same time, he possessed the happy and rare art of accommodating his instructions to the precise degree of knowledge attained by those whom he instructed. In private, his converse was characterized by ease and familiarity, and he regarded his pupils with the kind interest of a parent.
Connected Description. 435. FAMILIAR DESCRIPTION OF CHARACTER. In Familiar Description of Character, intended for instruction and improvement, attention must be paid to the following particulars :
RULE. 1. Let those traits and peculiarities of character be selected which are the most interesting, and best calculated to make a permanent impression on the mind of the reader.
2. Let the statement of facts be just and sufficiently ample, and the estimate of the character candid and discriminating,
3. Let the incidents be arranged in the order of time.
4. Let the language be easy, perspicuous, and correct.
436. MODE OF EXERCISE. 1. An Analysis, in the pupil's own words, of the leading traits or principles exhibited, with brief remarks either on the style of composition, or on the correctness or incorrectness of the writer's views.
2. Reproduction of the Example from recollection.
3. A Comparison between the two, in which all deviations must be noticed.
437. MODEL. THE EXEMPLARY TRADESMAN. 1. Mr. Samuel Richardson, an eminent printer in London, served a seven years' faithful apprenticeship to a master who was so intent on gain, that he grudged him every hour of leisure and diversion, which other masters usually allow their apprentices. “I was obliged to take,” said he, “ from the hours of rest and relaxation, my reading times for the improvement of my mind. But I took care that even my candle, was of my own purchasing, that I might not, in the most trifling instance, make my master a sufferer ; who used to call me the pillar of his house. I was equally careful not to disable myself by sitting up, from performing my duty in the daytime.” After the expiration of his apprenticeship, he was employed, for five or six years, in a printing-office; and part of the time as an overseer : and, thus working his way upwards into day-light, he at length took up his freedom, and began business for himself.
2. As an apprentice, he had been diligent and conscientious ; as a master, he was liberal and assiduous. He loved to encourage diligence and early rising among his journeymen and apprentices. His punctuality, his integrity, and the honour and generosity of his dealings, soon gained him friends ; and his business consequently prospered. He did not delight in public entertainments ; but, to the calls of business he was one of the most attentive of men. He had an implicit confidence that the blessing of Providence would accompany all honest endeavours. Sobriety, temperance, and regularity marked his steps from his youth up to manhood; so that he was never drawn into low vicious pursuits, or corrupted by the bad examples which he saw around him.
3. He married the daughter of the printer to whom he had been apprenticed ; an amiable and respectable young woman. As a husband, he was affectionate; as a father, kind and discriminating. In his family, he was much beloved ; by his friends, he was highly esteemed. To his relations, he was very
kind; many of whom, as well as other persons, received much assistance from him as he rose in the world.
438. In the following Example, the writer (Professor Wilson) depicts in simple but elegant language, the condition, habits, family, abode, domestic affliction, and quiet piety of an humble Scottish Farmer.
439. Mode of Exercise. – 1. Give an Analysis. 2. Reproduce from recollection. 3. Institute a Comparison between your own and the original.
440. MODEL. GILBERT AINSLIE, 1. Introduction. — Gilbert Ainslie was a poor man; and he had been a poor man all the days of his life, which were not few, for his thin hair was now waxing gray.
2. Condition. - He had been born and bred on the small moorland farm which he now oecupied ; and he hoped to die there, as his father and grandfather had done before him, leaving a family just above the more bitter wants of this world.
3. Principles and habits. - Labour, hard and unremitting, had been his lot in life ; but, although sometimes severely tried, he had never repined ; and through all the mist and gloom, and even the storms that had assailed him, he had lived on from year to year in that calm and resigned contentment which unconsciously cheers the hearthstone of the blameless poor. With his own hands he had ploughed, sowed, and reaped his often scanty harvest, assisted, as they grew up, by three sons, who, even in boyhood, were happy to work along with their father in the fields. Out of doors or in, Gilbert Ainslie was never idle. The spade, the shears, the ploughshaft, the sickle, and the flail, all came readily to hands that
grasped them well; and not a morsel of food was eaten under his roof, or a garment worn there, that was not honestly, severely, nobly earned. Gilbert Ainslie was a slave, but it was for them he loved with a sober and deep affection. The thraldom under which he lived God had imposed, and it only served to give his character a shade of silent gravity, but not austere ; to make his smiles fewer, — but more heartfelt ; to calm his soul at grace before and after meals ; and to kindle it in morning and evening prayer.
4. Family. There is no need to tell the character of the wife of such a man. Meek and thoughtful, yet gladsome and gay withal, her heaven was in her house ; and her gentler and weaker hands helped to bar the door against want. Of ten children they had lost three ; and as they had fed, clothed, and educated them respectably, so did they give them who died a respectable funeral. Of the seven that survived, two sons and a daughter were farm-servants in the neighbourhood, while two daughters and two sons remained at home, growing or grown up, a small, happy, hard-working household.
5. His abode. - Moss-side was not beautiful to a careless or hasty eye ; but, when looked on and surveyed, it seemed a pleasant dwelling. Its roof, overgrown with grass and moss, was almost as green as the ground out of which its weatherstained walls appeared to grow. The moss behind it was separated from a little garden, by a narrow slip of arable land, the dark colour of which showed that it had been won from the wild by patient industry, and by patient industry retained.
6. Illness of his child. - In this cottage, Gilbert's youngest child, a girl about nine years of age, had been lying for a week in a fever. It was now Saturday
and the ninth day of the disease. Was she to live or die ? It seemed as if a very few hours were between the innocent creature and heaven. All the symptoms were those of approaching death. The parents knew well the change that comes over the human face, whether it be in infancy, youth, or prime, just before the departure of the spirit ; and as they stood together by Margeret's bed, it seemed to them that the fatal shadow had fallen upon her features. “Do you think the child is dying ?” said Gilbert, with a calm voice, to the surgeon, who, on his wearied horse, had just arrived from another sick-bed, over the misty range of hills, and had been looking steadfastly for some minutes on the little patient, The humane man knew the family well, in the midst of whom he was standing, and replied, -“ While there is life there is hope ; but my pretty little Margaret is, I fear, in the last extremity.” There was no loud lamentation at these words all had before known, though they would not confess it to themselves, what they now were told — and though the certainty that was in the words of the skilful man made their hearts beat for a little with sicker throbbings, made their pale faces paler, and brought out from some eyes a greater gush of tears, yet death had been before in this house, and in this case he came, as he always does, in awe, but not in terror.
Another hour of trial passed, and the child was still swimming for its life. The very dogs knew there was grief in the house, and lay without stirring, as if hiding themselves, below. the long table at the window. One sister sat with an unfinished gown on her knees, that she had been sewing for the dear child, and still continued at the hopeless work, she scarcely knew why: and often, often, putting up her hand to wipe away a tear. The outer door gently opened, and he whose presence had in former years brought peace and resignation hither, when their hearts had been tried even as they now were tried, stood before them. On the night before the Sabbath, the minister of Auchindown never left his Manse, except, as now, to visit the sick or dying bed. Scarcely could Gilbert reply to his first question about his child, when the surgeon came from the bedroom, and said, “Margaret seems lifted up by God's hand above death and the grave; I think
She has fallen asleep; and, when she wakes, I hope-I— believe that the danger will be past, and that your child will live.”
she will recover.