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TO THE ENGLISH READER
PIECES IN PROSE.
SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS.
SECTION I. To be good is to be happy.
Vice, soon or late, brings misery.
Modesty is one of the chief ornaments of youth.
No confidence can be placed in those who are in the habit of lying
Neglect no opportunity of doing good.
The most secret acts of goodness are seen and approved by the Almighty.
SECTION JI. Our reputation, virtue, and happiness, greatly depend on the choice of our companions.
Good or bad habits, formed in youth, generally go with us through life.
We should be kind to all persons, even to those who are unkind to us.
When we acknowledge our misconduct, and are sorry for it, generous and good persons will pity and forgive us.
Our best friends are those who tell us of our faults, and teach us how to correct them.
If tales were not listened to, there would be no tale bearers.
To take sincere pleasure in the blessings and excellences of others, is a sure mark of a good heart.
We can never treat a fellow-creature ill, without offende ing the gracious Creator and Father of all.
A kind word, nay, even a kind look, often affords com fort to the afflicted.
Every desire of the heart, every secret thought, is known to him who made us.
SECTION III. He that cares only for himself, has but few pleasures; and those few are of the lowest order.
We may escape the censure of others, when we do wrong privately; but we cannot avoid the reproaches of our own mind.
Partiality to self often hides from us our own faults; we see very clearly the same faults in others.
Never sport with pain and distress in any of your amusements; nor treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.
Vicious pursuits may yield a few scattered pleasures, but piety and virtue will make our whole life happy.
Fancy paints pleasures at a distance, with beautiful colours; but possession often takes away their beauty.
We should accustom ourselves to bear small injuries patiently; we shall then be better able to support great ones.
When provoked by the follies of others, think of your own imperfections; be patient and humble.
Without fruguality none can be rich; and with it very Cew would be poor.
The good or bad disposition of children, often shows it
self, in their behaviour to servants and inferiors; it is seen even in their treatment of dumb animals.
They who ridicule the wise and good, are dangeroun companions ; they bring virtue itself into coatempt.
We cannot be good as God is good, to all persons every where, but we can rejoice that every where there is a God to do them good.
SECTION IV. When blessed with health and prosperity, cultivate a humble and compassionate disposition : think of the distresses of human life; of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan.
Avoid all harshness in behaviour: treat every one with That courtesy which springs from a mild and gentle heart.
Be slow in forming intimate connexions; they inay bring dishonour and misery.
Almost all our desires are apt to wander into an improper course : to direct them properly requires care; but that care will render us safe and happy through life.
The days that are past are gone for ever; those that are to come, may not come to us; the present time only is ours : let us therefore improve it as much as possible.
They who are moderate in their expectations, meet with few disappointments : the eager and presumptuous are continually disappointed.
Whatever is worth doing, at all, is worth doing well : but it is impossible to do any thing well without attention.
Let us not expect too much pleasure in this life : no situation in life is exempt from trouble.
The best persons are, no doubt, the happiest ; but they too have their trials and afflictions.
SECTION V. How greatly do the kind offices of a dutiful and affectionate child, gladden the heart of a parent, especially when sinking under age or infirmities.
What better proof can we give of wisdom and goodness, than to be content with the station in which providence has placed us ?
An honest man, (as Pope expresses himself,) is the no. blest work of God.
How pleasant it is, when we lie down at night, to reflect that we are at peace with all persons! that we have carefully performed the duties of the day! that the Almighty beholds and loves us !
How readily should we forgive those who offend us, if we consider how much our heavenly Father has forgiven
Who would exchange the humble peace which virtue *gives, for all the honours and pleasures of a vain world?
Pride (to use the emphatical words of a sacred writer) was not made for man.
How can we spend our time foolishly, when we know that we must give an account hereafter, of our thoughts, words, and actions ?
How glorious an object is the sun! but how much more glorious is that great and good Being, who made it for our use !
Behold, now ricn and beautiful are the works of nature ! What a bountiful provision is made for our wants and pleasures !-Surely, the author of so many blessings is worthy of our love and gratitude !
SECTION VI. CYRUS, when young, being asked what was the first thing which he learned, answered; “ To speak the truth."
Epaminondas, the celebrated Theban general, was remarkable for his love of truth. He never told a lie, even
All our moral duties are contained in these few words ; “ Do as you would be done by.”
The following was a favourite sentiment of the wise and good Socrates : “ We should eat and drink, in order to live; instead of living, as many do, to eat and drink.”
Artaxerxes Mnemon, king of Persia, being, upon an ex. traordi iary occasion, reduced to eat barley-bread and dried figs, ard to drink water; " What pleasure,” said he," have I lost till now, by my delicacies and excess."
When Cato drew near the close of life, he made this most benevolent declaration to his friends : « The greatest comfort of my old age, is, the pleasing remembrance of the friendly offices I have done to others. To see them easy and happy by my means, makes me truly 80."
Mark Antony, when under adverse circumstances, made this interesting exclamation ; “ I have lost all except what I have given away,
!” The Emperor Marcus Aurelius, a pious and good man, expressed the benevolence of his heart, in these words : “I cannot relish a happiness which no one partakes of but myself.”
Edward the VI. of England, being, when very young, required by his uncle, to sign a warrant for the execution of a poor woman, on account of her religious principles, said, with tears in his eyes : “I almost wish I had never learned to write."
SECTION VII. Pity the sorrows and sufferings of the poor. Disdain not to enter their wretched abodes ; nor to listen to their moving lamentations.
Gratitude is a delightful emotion. The grateful heart at once performs its duty, and endears itself to others.
If we ought to be grateful for services received from our friends, how should our hearts glow with thanktulness to Him, who has given us being, and all the blessings we enjoy!
Young people too often set out in life, with too much confidence in theniselves. Alas! how little do they know the dangers which await them!
To repine at the improvements of others, and wish to deprive them of the praise they have deserved, is an envious and odious disposition.
We ought not to be proud or vain of the advantages we possess; but humbly endeavour to use them for the beneåt of our fellow creatures, and the glory of that great Be. ing from whom we have received them.
If we consider how much the comfort, or the uneasiness of all around us, depends on the state of our own temper, we should surely endeavour to render it sweet and accommodating.
When we feel our inability to resist evil, and to do good, what a comfort it is, to know that our heavenly Father will, if we humbly apply to him, hear our prayers, and gra. ciously assist us!
When young persons are afflicted with illness, how great.