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Courage, like every other emotion, however laudable in its pure form, may be allowed to degenerate into a faulty extreme. Thus rashness, too often assuming the name of courage, has no pretensions to its merit.
Little Things
TRIFLES are not to be despised. The nerve of a tooth, not so large as the finest cambric needle, will sometimes drive a strong man to distraction. A musquito can make an elephant absolutely mad. The coral rock, which causes a navy to founder, is the work of tiny insects. The warrior that with-stood death in a thousand forms may be killed by an insect.
ECONOMY is the parent of integrity, of liberty, and of ease; and the beauteous sister of temperance, of cheerfulness, and health; and profuseness is a cruel and crazy demon, that gradually involves her followers in dependence and debt; that is, fetters them with irons that enter into their souls.
Farm Life
AGRICULTURE is the greatest among the arts, for it is first in supplying our necessities. It is the mother, and nurse of all other arts. It favors and strengthens population; it creates and maintains manufactures, gives employment to navigation and materials to commerce.
TWENTY clerks in a store; twenty hands in a printing office; twenty apprentices in a shipyard; twenty young men, in a village—all want to get on in the world, and expect to succeed.
OUR success in life generally bears a direct proportion to the exertions we make, and if we aim at nothing we shall certainly achieve nothing. By the remission of labor and energy, it often happens that poverty and contempt, disaster and defeat, steal a march upon prosperity and honor, and overwhelm us with reverses and shame.
THE first step toward greatness is to be honest, says the proverb; but the proverb fails to state the case strong enough. Honesty is not only the first step toward greatness—it is greatness itself.
The value of character is the standard of human progress. The individual, the community, the nation tells its standing, its advancement, its worth, its true wealth and glory in the eye of God by its estimation of character.
Principle And Right
We all have good and bad in us. The good would do what it ought to do; the bad does what it can do. The good dwells in the kingdom of right; the bad sits on the throne of might. Right is a loyal subject; might is a royal tyrant.
Value And Reputation
Who shall estimate the cost of a priceless reputation—that impress which gives this human dross its currency—without which we stand despised, debased, depreciated? Who shall repair it injured? Who can redeem it lost?
FAME, like money, should neither be despised or idolized. An honest fame, based on worth and merit, and gained, like large estates, by prudence and industry, deservedly perpetuates the names of the great and good.
The road ambition travels is too narrow for friend-ship, too crooked for love, too rugged for honesty, too dark for science, and too hilly for happiness.
If we would enjoy the comforts of life rationally, we must avoid the miseries of avarice and the evils of prodigality. Let us use the provisions of our benevolent Benefactor without abusing them, and render to Him that gratitude which is His due.
Gambling does this, and often inflicts a still greater injury, by poisoning its victims with vice, that eventually lead to crimes of the darkest hue. Usually, the money basely filched from its victims, is the smallest part of the injury inflicted.
Our advice is, to keep cool under all circumstances, if possible. Much may be effected by cultivation. We should learn to command our feelings and act prudently in all the ordinary concerns of life. This will better prepare us to meet sudden emergencies with calmness and fortitude.
IT does no good to get angry. Some sins have a seeming compensation or apology, a present gratification of some sort, but anger has none. A man feels no better for it.
AN obstinate man does not hold opinions, but they hold him; for when he is once possessed of an error, it is like a devil, only cast out with great difficulty. Whatsoever he lays hold on, like a drowning man, he never looses, though it but help to sink him the sooner.
THERE is no foolishness in the world so great as to be a hypocrite. He is hated of the world for seeming to be a Christian; he is hated by God for not being one. He hates himself and he is even despised by Satan for serving him and not acknowledging it.
Fretting And Grumbling
There are two things about which we should never grumble: the first is that which we cannot help, and the other that which we can help.
Fault FInding
To a pure, sensitive, and affectionate mind, every act of finding fault, or dealing in condemnation, is an act of pain.
Reader, if envy is ranking in your bosom, declare war against it at once; a war of extermination; no truce, no treaty, no compromise. Like the pirate on the high seas, it is an outlaw, an enemy to all mankind, and should be hung up at the yard arm until it is dead, DEAD, DEAD.
SLANDER is a blighting sirocco; its pestiferous breath pollutes with each respiration; its forked tongue is charged with the same poison; it searches all corners of the world for victims; it sacrifices the high and low, the king and the peasant, the rich and poor, the matron and maid, the living and the dead; but delights most in destroying worth, and immolating innocence.
We have nothing of which we should be vain, but much to induce humility. If we have any good qualities they are the gift of God; in the best of men there are bad ones enough, if they can see themselves, to strangle vanity.
When a man's pride is thoroughly subdued, it is like the sides of Mount AEtna. It was terrible while the eruption lasted and the lava flowed; but when that is past, and the lava is turned into soil, it grows vineyards and olive trees up to the very top.
Fops And Dandies
It is a general sin, to which there are but few exceptions; a great falsehood, which almost every man is striving to make greater. This great evil turns society into a grand show-room, in which the most dextrous show-master wears the tallest plume.
There is one fashion that never changes. The sparkling eye, the coral lip, the rose leaf blushing on the cheek, the elastic step, are always in fashion. Health-rosy, bouncing, gladsome health—is never out of fashion; what pilgrimages are made, what prayers are uttered for its possession!
Beauty in dress is a good thing, rail at it who may. But it is a lower beauty, for which a higher beauty should not be sacrificed. They love dress too much who give it their first thought, their best time, or all their money; who for it neglect the culture of mind or heart, or the claims of others on their service; who care more for their dress than their disposition; who are troubled more by an unfashionable bonnet than a neglected duty.
Church Dress
The adoption of more simple apparel for church on the part of the rich, in this country, would have the effect, certainly not of diminishing their own personal piety, but probably of increasing the disposition for religious observance on the part of the poor.
MANNERS are different in every country; but true politeness is everywhere the same. Manners, which take up so much of our attention, are only artificial helps which ignorance assumes in order to imitate politeness, which is the result of good sense and good nature.
The True Gentleman
WHEN you have found a man, you have not far to go to find a gentleman. You cannot make a gold ring out of brass. You cannot change a Cape May crystal to a diamond. You cannot make a gentleman till you first find a man.
Let your wit rather serve you for a buckler to defend yourself, by a handsome reply, than the sword to wound others, though with never so facetious a reproach, remembering that a word cuts deeper than a sharper weapon, and the wound it makes is longer curing.
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