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A youth, of an ingenuous, liberal, temper, is apt to be not regardful enough of his own interest. teens money as trash, and scorns to employ his cares about it. As it comes to him easily, it goes from him freely. He gives, he spends, he squanders, till at length, experiencing embarrassment, he resolves to be. come frugal and provident. But such a youth seldom stops at the true point, but leaps at once, far beyond it. Heartily sick of extravagance, he makes a covenant with avarice, and changes to unfeeling, illiberal, and miserly.

The extreme of confidence often runs into the extreme of jealousy. Of those who live to a considerable age, very few perhaps leave the world with as good an opinion of mankind as they had begun it. To the eye of the ingenuous but inexperienced youth, the world appears bright and charming. He looks to meet with justice, candor and honor, in his intercourse with his fellow-beings. Fancy gilds and bedecks the objects of his hopes, and whatever is promised him by hope, he regards as sure and certain. Presently however, the illusion begins to vanish. He meets with disappointments : he experiences cold blooded selfishness, deceit, fraud and perfidy; his confidence in men turns to suspicion ; the world he concludes, is a cheat ; he hastily, says in his heart, that all men are rogues and liars and he becomes sour and misanthropic. By how much his opinion of mankind was too favorable in his younger days, by so much is it too uncharitable in his advan

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ced age.

Self-convicted credulity is apt to run into scepticism : and so also, a zeal to free themselves from all shackles of superstition is sorely apt to drive men upon the fatal rocks of infidelity and irreligion.

Gibbon the historian, no less celebrated for parts and

learning than notorious for infidelity, was, in his youth, an implicit believer in, and a zealot for, the nonsensical popish doctrine of transubstantiation. To the arguments and expostulations of his father and other protestant relations and friends, he was utterly deaf. But happening, of himself, to find out an argument which convinced him of the monstrous absurdity of that doctrine, he rejected it, and, along with it, rejected the whole system of divine revelation ; which he, in the manner of Voltaire, encountered with the weapons of sneer and contempt, rather than by fair and manly reasoning. Nor is it unlikely that the rank infidelity, so general, a few years since, among the learned and the fashionable in Europe, sprung chiefly from the same

Identifying the monstrous doctrines and superstitious rites of the corrupted church in whose bosom they had been educated, with the gospel itself, and discerning clearly the ridiculous absurdities of the former, they hesitated not to explode the latter.

Some men, of impetuous tempers, but of feeling hearts, are possessed, by turns, of ferocity, and, on the other hand, of an undue measure of indulgent feelings. In their gusts of anger, the house is made to ring from side to side with their vociferations. Hard words, and sometimes hard blows, are dealt out for petty offences, or for none at all. But no sooner is the tempest subsided than they deeply relent; and, passing into the other extreme, they smother their little ones with caresses, and indulge them in every thing. A certain nobleman of former times is said to have been so remarkable in this respect that his domestics threw themselves in his way whenever they saw him angry, in order to be beaten by him ; well knowing that he would reward them bountifally with gifts as soon as his passion cooled.

Again, some fathers frame in their own minds a sygtem of paternal government, that is fine-spun in theory, but impracticable. They will govern by rule and plummet. They will begin betimes, and effectually whip old Adam out of their children. So they do begin, and so they proceed, sternly marking every childish foible, till, finding their efforts baffled, they rather cast away, than remit, the reins of government, and let their children do as they wilt.

It is observable, that the children by a second marriage are often treated with a great deal more indul. gence than those of the former one : and it is nowise unaccountable. For besides the consideration that the children of a second marriage are, not unfrequently, the children of old age ; when a father is conscious that he has been severe overmuch toward the first brood, that consciousness alone will incline him to be too indulgent toward the last. Thus, by opposite extremes, injuring, if not spoiling, both stocks, and setting bis family against himself, and at variance with one another.

Beware of extremes. Several of the minor virtues of our nature degenerate to folly or vice when carried beyond the due measure. Sensibility is not more lovely in its proper degree, than contemptible in its extravagance. A sentimentalist, puling over an uprooted flower or a maimed butterfly, excites disgust rather than sympathy. Good humour, candour, and generosity, may each and all be carried to extreme. If our good humour render our moral characters flexible, and our hearts too yielding ; if our candour degenerate to a sort of indiscriminate approvance of truth and error, of right and wrong, of the good and of the evil ; if our generosity infringe upon the sacred laws of justice, by an hospitality exceeding our circumstances and means, or by giving gifts in preference to paying honest debts : -in these, as in divers other cases, too much of a good thing turns it to bad.

NUMBER CXV.

Of despising small things.

" He that despiseth small things shall fall by little and little."

ECCLESIASTICUS.

This text, though apocryphal, is consonant to the whole tenor of human experience.

Time, which is of such invaluable account to every human being, is made up as of little particles that ever are flying away from us, and never to return : No,

never.

our.

* Time that ensueth
Is but the death of time that went before.

Youth is the death of childhood ; age of youth."
How inconceivably small are the passing moments !
yet they are not to be contemned. For of these is the
whole duration of life composed ; and it is the assidu-
ous and wise use of moments, that crowns life with hon-

On the other hand, by undervaluing the moments and neglecting to employ them, whole days and whole years are lost.

We often complain of the shortness of the whole, and at the same time are daily making prodigal waste of the parts. We carelessly throw away thousands and millions of the small fractions of time ; else, in most cases we should have time enough.

So it happens that in the acquisition of knowledge, oft and many a time, the race is not to the swift. Ma

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ny a wonderful boy, that confided altogether in the na. tive force of his genius, has been left far behind his cotemporaries of smaller talent, but of unwearied assiduity. Nor does history scarcely record the single instance of a man truly great in point of knowledge, who did not diligently improve even the small fractions of his time. In short, with the exception of a few remarkable cases, much more is effected by the dint of application than by the dint of genius. The fabled mouse with unweariable diligence ate in twain the cable, which a giant could not have parted by main strength. And besides, if it be of great value to know how to bear tedious moments with fortitude and patience, it is of still greater value to be able to prevent their being tedious; which can be accomplished only by turning them to good account, through assiduous diligence in proper and useful pursuits.

Nor is the apocryphal text that I am commenting upon, of less pertinent application to the interesting subjects of economy and morals.

It is the hand of the diligent that maketh rich. Most estates have been acquired by little and little ; by regular and well-applied industry; by small savings; and by a prudent care against waste in even the smallest matters. By these means, in a long series of years, estates have grown up to such a magnitude as the owners themselves would be puzzled to account for. They had met with nothing that could be termed great good luck. The wheel of fortune never turned them out a lottery prize, neither did they ever gather a single sheaf from the field of speculation ; and they themselves can hardly see, how their estates have waxed so large. The truth of it however is, that small annual savings, so judiciously managed as to be made constantly productive, will, in the space of half a cen

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