Sidor som bilder

lence somewhere, and that all may hope to find it. This emulation begins by imitation. We behold some work, or some perfection, which pleases or delights; we consider it with attention, and feel the wish to do or attain the same. We set up the model, and begin to copy with alacrity and cheerfulness. The boy who looks on without emulation, as his mother shews him A, and B, will certainly be long ere he can remember them, because he is indifferent to the subject; but the girl who is fired by emulation, watches with earnest attention every part of the operation which the first lesson of needlework includes. To remember the process is to her comparatively easy, for she goes with a predetermined will to imitate that which has seemed to her admirable or worthy of being copied. This brings us to the next attribute of industry, which is exertion.

No sooner is the desire to imitate fairly established, than the imitation commences by exertion, bodily or mental.

Genuine industrious exertion always implies the concurrence of the mind, which a slothful disposition seldom brings to the work. A lazy child, it is true, will hold a book in his hand when he is required to learn a lesson; and the indolent girl will keep her needle between her fingers till it is rusty; or will make a few stitches, after a dozen lessons, more awkwardly than when she attempted the first. The advantage of the book to the boy, and of the needle to the girl, is pretty equal : in truth, there will no advantage whatever result from any effort, unless it be accompanied by industrious exertion.


And as mere momentary exertion is productive of only momentary good, a continuance of endeavour is absolutely requisite, during any given time, as five, ten, twenty minutes, or an hour, to bring the work into some state of progression. This constancy of exertion is implied in diligence. A diligent child will, in five minutes, have learned to count the figures upwards, from one to ten ; a slothful child of the same age, of equal, nay, superior abilities, will repeat the ten figures after his mother during ten successive days, twenty times each, and will on the eleventh day know scarcely any one of them. Is this discredited ? I can indeed confidently maintain my assertion to be founded in truth.

But as, in all works and human efforts, and more especially in those of feeble childhood, relaxation, and total cessation from labour and exertion must be admitted, so, in order to perfect what we have begun, it is as absolutely necessary to return with the ardour and industry which were shewn in a beginning, in order to ensure complete success in the end. Thus we commence, and happily, our exertions of to-day; a progress, however small, is discernible. We are fatigued : the work is put by till the morrow. On the morrow we recommence with the same, or increased activity, emulation, exertion, and diligence. We carry, then, to the work, another and important handmaid of industry, perseverance : and because time is precious, and our anxiety sufficiently great, we are mindful to get forward without unnecessary delays, and to do whatever may in reason be done in that period. Herein is expedition ; a most useful

quality in every important or trifling business of existence.

Such, in a few words, is industry. Happy the child in whom this virtue may be inculcated ! Most happy the mother, or teacher, whose instructions and example are met half way, and cherished by a willing mind and a ready hand!





This sublime virtue asserts her dominion over the soul in two ways: first, in the power of suffering well ; and secondly, in that of acting, on an emergency, well also.

We saw, in a foregoing chapter of this work, that it was noble to forbear; and in this the attempt will be made to shew that it is equally noble to bear.

By bearing, or suffering, is generally understood a calm endurance under the crosses, pressures, or afflictions of life. Such a resignation of the soul is maintained by the inspiration and lessons of patience, the attribute and handmaid of fortitude.

Patience ! most enduring, useful virtue! When evil rose with sin, she also appeared on earth, the peculiar

gift of heaven. Gracious Providence ! gracious to us fallen creatures, if it be only in bestowing this antidote to evils and human miseries, which are the fruits of our own sin, but of which, in the power of endurance, or the remedy, we owe to thee!

Let us now inquire what are these evils which shade the best hours of existence, to counteract which Patience is, by all the wise and the good, of every age, and every religion, held forth to view and recommended

The evils of life! Where then shall we begin? What station, rank, age, sex, relation shall we fix on? And how attempt to enumerate the kinds and degrees ? Ah, it were far better to travel back to the age of infancy, which in truth is our province at this time, than to plunge further into a labyrinth of difficulties. Infancy will surely offer some points to lay hold of, will afford us some food for the inquiry. Let us then take


the consideration of crosses and evils to which infancy and childhood will probably be exposed, and to which, if patience be a virtue treasured in their souls, they will never want a friend to becomingly receive every

attack. The first evil of infancy is sickness, sorrow being a part of the inheritance of man, along with a thousand good gifts and blessings; his natal cry is but a prelude to the many others of want, pain, or uneasiness, during the first few months of his existence. That a babe should be susceptible of every change, and every slight uneasiness, is not to be wondered at, considering the extreme delicacy of its frame, and the weakness of its powers. Nevertheless there are means,

which every zealous mother may learn to use in general cases, and which she may, in particular ones, adopt under the instructions of her physician, which will be found to lessen, or, it may be, prevent much distress to her child. And " wherein," will she

perhaps inquire, “ will be the great advantage of so doing, if we except the sparing of some small matter of uneasiness which is natural to the state of infancy, and which might scarcely affect the child, but which to prevent or provide for, on my part, would demand the greatest portion of my time, my quiet, and my

ease ?”

In reply to an imaginary question, such a one as would not, I believe, pass the lip of any mother, but which would float in the mind of some, it must be observed (and all have doubtless had occasion to remark the same), that as frequent suffering produces reiterated expression of sorrow, either by signs or words, frequency of action and passion is moulded into principle and habit, so the suffering person is almost always one inclined to grieve and mourn, and be dissatisfied with himself and others.

Is it not adviseable, then, to take precautionary measures in the first instance, and by extreme attention to infant wants and infirmities, to prevent as much as possible the expression of sorrow, which, when permitted for a length of time, and to recur frequently, will invariably affect the whole disposition with fretfulness and irritability, and impart a sourness and gloom to the prettiest features ? No mother, perhaps, ever heard her child mourn and cry with indifference; and if, when he seems to be suffering, she

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