« ПредишнаНапред »
faithful performance of it gives, poor and wretched indeed is the whole sum of pleasure that can possibly be extracted from the amusements of fashion.
Lamentable, however would be the condition of things in this respect, if either wealth, or rank, or superior talents, or any great degree of literary acquirements, were indispensably necessary, in a mother, to fit her for the noble and all important task which that relation devolves upon
her. So far from it, a woman of mere plain sense, whose reading extends but little beyond the divine volume that contains our holy religion, and whose worldly circumstances are narrow and even indigent, is capable nevertheless, of confering unspeakable benefits upon her little ones. As she is the first in their hearts, so, in their esteem, she is the first of women.--Her example is their model ; they copy her ways; they hang upon her lips. The moral and reli. gious lore inculcated with maternal tenderness by her, they never quite forget; and very often it is the means of forming their characters for life.
Precious is the mother, whether of high or of low degree, who, in this respect, acts the real mother to the best of her abilities. Hardly can she fail of stamp. ing upon the minds of her younglings, some salutary impressions which will never be quite effaced. Except the rare instances of most unnatural perverseness, their hearts will ever cleave to her. They will not forsake her when she is old. Their filial kindnesses will soothe and solace the infirmities and decays of her age. And when she is called “ to put off the mortal and put on the immortal clothing," the genuine expressions of their hearts will be We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand that reared us.-Gladly would we now recal that softest friend, a mother, whose mild converse and faithful counsel we in vain regret."*
* Alden's collection of American Epitaphs, &c. No, 485.
Truths said of boys, which boys will ne'er believe.
Our life is beset with perils at every step, but no period of it is perhaps quite so perilous as that in which the boy is stepping into manhood. Then it is that his feeling is fervid, his hope vivid, and his self-confidence at the highest. Then it is that he listens with most rapture to the voice of the siren, that his heart is most susceptible to the allurements of pleasure ; and it is then that he spurns alike the trammels of restraint and the counsels of friendship.
Untaught by experience, he despises the experience of others; wise in his own conceit, he scorns the monitions of age and riper judgment ; full of himself, he feels no need of direction or advisement, and regards it as an insult to his understanding. He feels a sentiment of indignation and disdain toward those who should presume to teach him how to behave. His sense is deceived, “ his soul is in a dream, he is fully confident that he sees things clearly, and yet he sees them in a false mirror, exactly such as they are not.”
Nor is it always the youths of the least promise that are in the most danger. So far otherwise, those of forward parts, of lively imaginations, and of strong passions withal, are in peculiar hazard during those green years in which is the critical period of transition from the condition of boys to that of men. The very qualities that distinguish them and set them above their fellows, diminish the likelihood of their establishing a sober staidness of character, and ofttimes are the means of launching them into the whirlpool of dissipation, where all is lost; where reputation, morals, and what
ever is estimable in human beings, are all engulphed tor gether.
How many instances do the perilous times we live in furnish-how many deplorable instances of hopeful boys abandoned and lost ere they were out of their teens! And by how much the more their parents had doted
upon them, by so much the more are their hearts wrung with anguish.
Far less is the danger, for the most part, while the. immature youth remains under the parental roof, or in as the well-ordered home. There he finds it not so easy to shake off salutary restraints ; there he needs anust feel some respect for the opinion of the society in whose bosom he was born and educated, some reverence of parental authority, and some regard to the feelings of near kiudred. But when he leaves the haven of home, and is pushed off into the stream of life, it is more than an even chance that he will founder in the stream, if he have not previously been under the governance of moral and religious principle. In his new situation, it often happens that he finds new enticements to lead him astray, and at the same time feels himself loosened from the authority and influence-which had heretofore repressed his wayward propensities; and if vicious, but genteel and artful, companions, get the first hold on him, his ruin is in all probability sealed.
It was in clear view of these affecting circumstances that the celestial poet, Cowper, penned the following lines :
“My boy, the vowelcome hour is come, When thou, transplanted fro:n thy genial home, Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger's care." It is hard to mourn over the death, but it is sometimes still harder to mourn over the life, of a belovedchild. When they see the one whom they had expecbed woald be found the solace of their age, the honour
of their family, and an ornament to society--when they see him, at the instant of their highest hopes, turn to the ways of folly; no heart but a heart thus exercised, can conceive the sharpness of the pang. This is sorrow indeed ; and the best that parents can do to prevent it, or rather all they can do, is to lay themselves out in good earnest to train up their children in the way they should go.
Good education is the thing in the world the most important and desirable, but it is of wider scope than most people imagine. What is called learning is only a part of it, and so far from being the most essential part, it is but the husk. In vain will you employ your endeavours to educate your children, unless you give seed to the heart, as well as culture to the understanding; unless you make their moral frame the subject of your
assiduous and well-directed care ; unless you take at least as much pains to make them be well principled and of virtuous manners, as to make them shine in learning and accomplishments : for intellectual improvement, if their morals be neglected, will tend to render them wise only to do evil. If you train up your boy to a strict regard to truth, honesty, and integrity, and to a deep reverence of all that is sacred: if you train him up in habits of industry, temperance; and love of order it is then, and only then, you can reasonably expect that he will pass through the perilous crisis before him uncontaminated, and that his manhood will be crowned with honour.
Of a scornful temper-instanced in lady Blazon.
THE progress of the great king Alp Arslan, was retarded by the governor of Berzem ; and Joseph the Carizman, presumed to defend his fortress against the powers of the East. When he was produced a captive in the royal tent, the Sultan, instead of praising his valour, severely reproached his obstinate folly, and the insolent replies of the rebel provoked a sentence, that he should be fastened to four stakes and left to expire in that painful situation. At this command the desperate Carizman, drawing a dagger, rushed headlong toward the throne; the guards raised their battle-axes; their zeal was checked by Alp Arslan, the most skilful archer of the age; he drew his bow, but his foot slipped, the arrow glanced aside, and he received in his breast the dagger of Joseph, who was instantly cut in pieces. The wound was mortal, and the Turkish prince bequeathed a dying admonition to the pride of kings" In my youth," said Alp Arslan, I was advised by a sage to humble myself before God, to distrust my own strength, and never to despise the most contemptible enemy. I have neglected these lessons; and my neglect has been deservedly punished. Yesterday from an eminence I beheld the numbers, the discipline, and the spirit of my armies: the earth seemed to tremble under my feet, and I said in my heart, surely thou art the king of the world, the greatest and most invincible of warriors. These armies are no longer mine; and in the confidence of my personal strength, I now fall into the hand of an assassin."-Upon the tomb of the Sultan was this teaching inscription: "0 ye who have seen the glory of Alp Arslan, exalted to