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what point to travel. He stood pensive and confused, afraid to go
. forward lest he should go wrong, yet conscious that the time of + loitering was now past.
While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds, the day vanished from before him, and a sudden tempest gathered round his head.
8. He was now roused, by his danger, to a quick and painful remembrance of his folly; he now saw how happiness is lost when ease is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to seek shelter in the grove, and despised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation.
9. He now resolved to do what remained yet in his power; to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to find some +issue, where the wood might open into the plain. He prostrated himself upon the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of nature. Île rose with confidence and tranquillity, and pressed on with his saber in his hand; for the beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage, and fear, and ravage, and expiration : all the horrors of darkness and solitude surrounded him; the winds roared in the woods, and the + torrents tumbled from the hills.
10. Thus, forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether he was every moment drawing nearer to safety or to destruction. At length, not fear, but labor, began to overcome him; his breath grew short, and his knees, trembled, and he was on the point of lying down, in resignation to his fate, when he beheld, through the brambles, the glimmer of a taper. He advanced toward the light, and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man set before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagerness and gratitude.
11. When the repast was over, “Tell me," said the hermit, “by what chance thou hast been brought hither : I have been now twenty years an inhabitant of this wilderness, in which I never saw a man before." Obidah then related the + occurrences of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.
"Son,” said the hermit, “let the errors and follies, the dangers and escapes, of this day, sink deep into thy heart. Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a day. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigor, and full of expectation; we set forward with spirit and hope, with gayety and with
diligence, and travel on awhile in the straight road of piety, toward the mansions of rest. In a short time we remit our fervor, and endeavor to find some mitigation of our duty, and some more easy means of obtaining the same end.
13. “We then relax our vigor, and resolve no longer to be terrified with crimes at a distance, but rely upon our own constancy, and venture to approach what we resolve never to touch. We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose in the shades of security. Here the heart softens, and + vigilance subsides: we are then willing to inquire whether another advance can not be made, and whether we may not, at least, turn our eyes upon the gardens of pleasure. We approach them with scruple and hesitation; we enter them, but enter *timorous and trembling, and always hope to pass through them without losing the road of virtue, which we, for awhile, keep in our sight, and to which we propose to return.
14. “But temptation succeeds temptation, and one +compliance prepares us for another; we, in time, lose the happiness of innocence, and solace our disquiet with sensual gratifications. Ву degrees we let fall the remembrance of our original intention, and quit the only adequate object of rational desire. We entangle ourselves in business, immerge ourselves in luxury, and rove through the labyrinths of + inconstancy, till the darkness of old age begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our way. We then look back upon our lives with horror, with sorrow, and with repentance; and wish, but too often vainly wish, that we had not forsaken the paths of virtue.
15. “Happy are they, my son, who shall learn, from thy example, not to despair, but shall remember, that, though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made; that reformation is never hopeless, nor sincere endeavors ever unassisted ; that the wanderer may at length return, after all his errors. And that he, who timplores strength and courage from above, shall find danger and difficulty give way before him. Go now, my son, to thy repose; commit thyself to the care of +Omnipotence : and, when the morning calls again to toil, begin anew thy journey and thy life.”
QUESTIONS. — What species of composition is this lesson? Relate the story of Obidah. What moral did the hermit derive from these events? Is it because we have but few men who are capable of becoming great, that so few distinguish themselves ? What is the reason ?
In the last sentence of the 11th paragraph, which word is the subject, or in the nominative case? Which words are the objects, or in the objective case? Of what is “occurrence,” the object? Of what is "journey," the object ? “Concealment,” and “palliation ?” What is the grammatical, and what the general attribute? See Pinneo's Analytical Grammar
REMARK.-Take care not to let the voice become faint as you approach the close of a sentence, but give each word its proper force and emphasis.
ARTICULATE distinctly. -— Mis-er-ies, not mis’ries : sin-gu-lar, not sing’lar: fa-tal-i-ty, not fa-tal’ty: pros-per-ous, not pros-prous: steadi-ly, not stead'ly: ac-ci-dent, not ac-s’dent: shud-der-ing, not shud'rin: es-cape, not 'scape: Prov-i-dence, not Prov'dence: mis-er-a-ble, not mis'ra-ble: in-def-i-nite, not in-def'nite.
2. Fa-tal'-i-ty, n. a fixed course of things. | 9. Re-it'-er-a-ted, p. repeated again 3. Reef'-ed, p. having a portion of the
and again, sails folded up and made fast to the 11. Mar'-i-ners, n. seaman. yard.
(side. 13. Lee'-ward, n. the part toward which Gun'-wale,n. the upper edge of a ship's the wind blows. 4. Im-mer'-sion, n. the act of plunging 16. Stream'-er-ed, p. filled with narrow into a fluid until covered.
stripes, like flags ar streamers. 8. Sock'-ets, n, hollow places which re- 18. Fluc-tu-al-tion, n. a rising and fallceive something.
ing of the waves.
1. You have often asked me to describe to you on paper an event in my life, to which, at the distance of thirty years I can not look back without horror. No words can give an adequate image of the miseries I suffered during that fearful night; but I shall try to give you something like a faint shadow of them, that from it your soul may
conceive what I must have suffered. 2. I was, you know, on my voyage back to my native country, after an absence of five years spent in unremitting toil in a foreign land, to which I had been driven by a singular fatality.
Our voyage had been most cheerful and prosperous, and, on Christmas day, we were within fifty leagues of port. Passengers and crew were all in the highest spirits, and the ship was alive with mirth and jollity.
3. The ship was sailing at the rate of seven knots an hour. A strong snow storm blew, but steadily and without danger; and the ship kept boldly on her course, close-reefed, and mistress of the storm. While leaning over the gunwale, admiring the water rushing by like a foaming + cataract, by some unaccountable accident, I lost my balance, and, in an instant, fell overboard into the sea.
4. I remember a convulsive shuddering all over my body, and a hurried leaping of my heart, as I felt myself about to lose hold of the vessel, and afterward a sensation of the most icy chilliness, from immersion in the waves, but nothing resembling a fall or precipitation. When below the water, I think that a momentary belief rushed across my mind, that the ship had suddenly sunk, and that I was but one of a perishing crew. I imagined that I felt a hand, with long fingers, clutching at my legs, and made violent efforts to escape, dragging after me, as I thought, the body of some drowning wretch.
5. On rising to the surface, I recollected, in a moment, what had befallen me, and uttered a cry of horror, which is in my ears to this day, and often makes me shudder, as if it were the mad shriek of another person in extremity of perilous agony. Often have I dreamed over again that dire moment, and the cry I utter in my sleep, is said to be something more horrible than a human voice. No ship was to be seen. She was gone forever.
6. The little, happy world to which, a moment before, I had belonged, had been swept by, and I felt that God had flung me at once from the heart of joy, delight, and happiness, into the uttermost + abyss of mortal misery and despair. Yes! I felt that the Almighty God had done this, that this was an act, a fearful act of Providence, and miserable worm that I was, I thought that the act was cruel, and a sort of wild, indefinite, objectless rage and wrath assailed me, and took for awhile, the place of that first shrieking, terror. I gnashed my teeth, and cursed myself, and with bitter tears and yells, blasphemed the name of God.
7. It is true, my friend, that I did so. God forgave that wickedness. The Being, whom I then cursed, was in his tender mercy, not unmindful of me, of me, a poor, blind, miserable, mistaken
But the waves dashed over me, and struck me on the face, and howled at me; and the winds yelled, and the snow beat like + drifting sand into my eyes, and the ship, the ship was gone,
and there was I left to struggle, and buffet, and gasp, and sink, and
perish, alone, unseen, and unpitied by man, and, as I thought too, by the everlasting God.
8. I tried to penetrate the surrounding darkness with my glaring eyes, that felt as if leaping from their sockets; and saw, as if by miraculous power, to a great distance through the night; but no ship; nothing but white-crested waves, and the dismal 'noise of thunder.
9. I shouted, shrieked, and yelled, that I might be heard by the crew,
and that, too, when I knew that there were none to hear me. At last I became utterly speechless, and, when I tried to call aloud, there was nothing but a silent gasp and convulsion, while the waves came upon me like +stunning blows, reiterated, and drove me along like a log of wood or a dead animal.
10. All this time, I was not conscious of any act of swimming; but I soon found that I had instinctively been exerting all my power and skill, and both were requisite to keep me alive in the tumultuous wake of the ship. Something struck me harder than
What it was I knew not, but I grasped it with a passionate violence; for the hope of salvation came suddenly over me, and with a sudden transition from despair, I felt that I was + rescued.
11. I had the same thought as if I had been suddenly heaved on shore by a wave. The crew had thrown overboard every thing they thought could afford me the slightest chance of escape from death, and a hencoop had drifted toward me. At once, all the stories I had ever read, of mariners miraculously saved at sea, rushed across my recollection. I had an object to cling to, which I knew would prolong my existence.
12. I was no longer helpless on the cold + weltering world of waters; and the thought that my friends were thinking of me, and doing all they could for me, gave to me a wonderful courage. I may yet pass the night in the ship, I thought; and I looked round eagerly to hear the rush of her prow, or to see through the snowdrift the gleaming of her sails.
13. This was but a momentary gladness. The ship, I knew, could not be far off, but, for any good she could do me, she might as well have been in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean. Ere she could have altered her course, I must have drifted a long way to leeward, and in that dim, snowy night, how was such a speck to be seen? I saw a flash of lightning, and then, there was thunder. It was the ship firing a gun, to let me know, if still alive, that she was somewhere lying to.