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REMARK.—The following lesson is of a didactic character, and should be read slowly, impressively, and with especial attention to emphasis.
Give the r its rolling sound in the following words in this lesson: strongest, approbation, secret, afraid, alacrity, brilliant, right, free, erect, heroic, phrase, pride, constrain, private, scrupulous, integrity, drives, morality, greatness, streamlets, presents, torrent, purity.
In-teg'-ri-ty, n. honesty of purpose. 17. Mea'-ger, n. small, scanty. 2. A-lac'-ri-ty, n. cheerful readiness. Stream'-let, 1. a little stream, a
E-las'-tic, a. rebounding, springing brook. back.
Im-ped'-i-ment, n. hinderance. 4. Vi-cis'-si-tude, n, change.
Havl-oc, n. wide destruction. 5. Scru'-pu-lous,a. careful, nicely doubt- Ca-reer', n. course.
1. THE man who is so conscious of the rectitude of his intentions, as to be willing to open his bosom to the inspection of the world, is in possession of one of the strongest pillars of a decided character. The course of such a man will be firm and steady, because he has nothing to fear from the world, and is sure of the + approbation and support of heaven. While he, who is conscious of secret and dark designs, which, if known, would blast him, is perpetually shrinking and dodging from public observation, and is afraid of all around, and much more of all above him.
2. Such a man may, indeed, pursue his iniquitous plans, steadily; he may waste himself to a skeleton in the guilty pursuit; but it is impossible that he can pursue them with the same health-inspiring + confidence, and exulting alacrity, with him who feels, at every step, that he is in the pursuit of honest ends, by honest means. The clear, unclouded brow, the open countenance, the brilliant eye, which can look an honest man steadfastly, yet + courteously, in the face, the healthfully beating heart, and the firm, elastic step, belong to him whose bosom is free from guile, and who knows that all his purposes are pure and right. 3. Why should such a man falter in his course ? He may
be + slandered; he may be deserted by the world; but he has that within which will keep him erect, and enable him to move onward on his course, with his eyes fixed on heaven, which he knows will not desert him.
4. Let your first step, then, in that + discipline which is to give you decision of character, be the heroic determination to be honest men, and to preserve this character through every vicissitude of fortune, and in every relation which connects you with society. I do not use this phrase, “honest men,” in the narrow sense merely of meeting your + pecuniary engagements, and paying your debts; for this the common pride of gentlemen will constrain
you to do.
5. I use it in its larger sense of + discharging all your duties, both public and private, both open and secret, with the most scrupulous, +heaven-attesting integrity; in that sense, further, which drives from the bosom all little, dark, crooked, sordid, debasing + considerations of self, and substitutes in their place a bolder, loftier, and nobler spirit; one that will dispose you to consider yourselves as born, not so much for yourselves, as for your country, and your fellow creatures, and which will lead you to act, on every occasion, sincerely, justly, generously, + magnanimously.
6. There is a morality on a larger scale, perfectly consistent with a just attention to your own affairs, which it would be the hight of folly to neglect : a generous expansion, a proud elevation and conscious greatness of character, which is the best preparation for a decided course, in every situation into which you can be thrown; and it is to this high and noble tone of character that I would have you to + aspire.
7. I would not have you to resemble those weak and meager streamlets, which lose their + direction at every petty impediment which presents itself, and stop, and turn back, and creep around, and search out every little +channel through which they may wind their feeble and sickly course. Nor yet would I have you resemble the headlong torrent that carries havoc in its mad career.
8. But I would have you like the ocean, that noblest emblem of + majestic decision, which, in the calmest hour, still heaves its resistless might of waters to the shore, filling the heavens, day and night, with the echoes of its sublime declaration of independence, and tossing, and sporting, on its bed, with an imperial + consciousness of strength that laughs at + opposition. It is this depth, and weight, and power, and purity of character, that I would have you to resemble; and I would have you, like the waters of the ocean, to become the purer by your own action.
QUESTIONS.-What is the effect of conscious rectitude upon a man? What is the effect of the want of it? What then should be the first step in the attainment of decision of character ? In what two senses may we be considered “honest men ?” With what beautiful metaphor does this piece close ?
In the first sentence of the 3d paragraph, which is the nominative? Which is the verb? What kind of a verb is it? In what mode and tense? What word is in the objective case? Which is the general attribute? See Pinneo's Analytical Grammar, page 124.
REMARK. – Do not let the voice grow weaker at the last words of a sentence.
PRONOUNCE correctly. — Act-u-al, not ac-tex-al: en-gin-eer, not in-gi-neer: boil-er, not bi-ler: fast-en-ings, pro. fas'nings: move-ments, not move-munce: en-gine (pro. en-gin) not in-gine : joint, not jint: oil, not ile: fur-nace, not fur-niss : governs, not govuns.
2. Pro-pel', v. to push forward. [gines. Mi-nu'-tiæ, n. the smaller particulars. 3. En-gin-eer', n. one who manages en- 6. Fric'-tion, n. rubbing. [tion.
Steam'-gage, n. something which 10. Mo-ment-um, n. the quantity of momeasures the force of the steam. 11. Sym'-bol, n. type or emblem,
Scru'-ti-ni-zes, v. examines closely. Res-er-voir', n. (pro. rez-er-vwor') & 4. Pon'-der-ous, a. very heavy.
place where any thing is kept in Pis'-ton, n, a short cylinder used in store. pumps and engines.
13. Sus-cep-ti-bil'-i-ties, n. capacity for 5. Com'-pli-ca-ted, a. intricate.
THE STEAMBOAT TRIAL.
1. The Bible every where + conveys the idea that this life is not our home, but a state of + probation, that is, of trial and +discipline, which is intended to prepare us for another. In order that all, even the youngest of my readers, may understand what is meant by this, I shall +illustrate it by some familiar examples, drawn from the actual business of life.
2. When a large steamboat is built, with the intention of having her employed upon the waters of a great river, she must be proved before put to service. Before trial, it is somewhat doubtful whether she will succeed. In the first place, it is not absolutely certain whether her + machinery will work at all. There may be some flaw in the iron, or an imperfection in some part of the + workmanship, which will prevent the motion of her wheels. Or if this is not the case, the power of the machinery may not be + sufficient to propel her through the water, with such force as to overcome the current; or she may, when brought to encounter the rapids at some narrow passage in the stream, not be able to force her way against their resistance.
3. The engineer, therefore, resolves to try her in all these respects, that her + security and her power may be properly proved before she is +intrusted with her valuable cargo of human lives. He cautiously builds a fire under her boiler; he watches with eager interest the rising of the steam-gage, and scrutinizes every part of the machinery, as it gradually comes under the control of the tremendous power, which he is apprehensively applying.
4. With what interest does he observe the first stroke of the ponderous piston! and when, at length, the fastenings of the boat
go, and the motion is + communicated to the wheels, and the mighty mass slowly moves away from the wharf, how deep and eager an interest does he feel in all her movements, and in every indication he can discover of her future success!
5. The engine, however, works imperfectly, as every one must on its first trial; and the object in this experiment is not to gratify idle curiosity, by seeing that she will move, but to discover and remedy every little imperfection, and to remove every obstacle which prevents more entire success. For this purpose, you will see our engineer examining, most minutely and most attentively, every part of her complicated machinery. The crowd on the wharf may be simply gazing on her majestic progress, as she moves off from the shore, but the engineer is within, looking with faithful +examination into all the minutiæ of the motion.
6. He scrutinizes the action of every lever and the friction of every joint; here, he oils a bearing, there, he tightens a nut; one part of the machinery has too much play, and he confines it; another, too much friction, and he loosens it; now, he stops the engine, now, reverses her motion, and again, sends the boat forward in her course. 'He discovers, perhaps, some great improvement of which she is + susceptible, and when he returns to the wharf and has extinguished her fire, he orders from the machineshop the necessary alteration.
7. The next day he puts his boat to the trial again, and she glides over the water more smoothly and swiftly than before. The jar which he had noticed is gone, and the friction reduced ; the beams play more smoothly, and the + alteration which he has made produces a more equable motion in the +shaft, or gives greater effect to the stroke of the paddles upon the water.
8. When at length her motion is such as to satisfy him upon the smooth surface of the river, he turns her course, we will imagine, toward the rapids, to see how she will sustain a greater trial. As he increases her steam, to give her power
to overcome the new force with which she has to contend, he watches, with eager interest, her boiler, +inspects the gage and the safety valves,
and, from her movements under the increased pressure of her steam, he receives suggestions for further improvements, or for + precautions which will insure greater safety.
9. These he executes, and thus he perhaps goes on for many days, or even weeks, trying and examining, for the purpose of improvement, every working of that mighty power, to which he knows hundreds of lives are soon to be intrusted. This now is probation--trial for the sake of improvement. And what are its + results? Why, after this course has been thoroughly and faithfully pursued, this floating palace receives upon her broad deck, and in her carpeted and curtained cabin, her four or five hundred passengers, who pour along in one long procession of happy groups,
, over the bridge of planks; father and son, mother and children, young husband and wife, all with +implicit confidence, trusting themselves and their dearest interests to her power.
10. See her as she sails away! How beautiful and yet how powerful are all her motions ! That beam glides up and down gently and smoothly in its + grooves, and yet gentle as it seems, hundreds of horses could not hold it still; there is no apparent violence, but every movement is with irresistible power. How graceful is her form, and yet how mighty is the momentum with which she presses on her way!
11. Loaded with life, and herself the very symbol of life and power, she seems something +ethereal, unreal, which, ere we look again, will have vanished away. And though she has within her bosom a furnace glowing with furious fires, and a reservoir of death, the elements of most dreadful ruin and conflagration, of destruction the most complete, and agony the most +unutterable; and though her strength is equal to the united energy of two thousand men, she restrains it all. 12. She was
constructed by genius, and has been tried and improved by fidelity and skill; and one man governs and controls