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My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord. In
the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will
EARLY rising is a habit so easily acquired, so necessary to the despatch of country business, so advantageous to health, and so important to devotion, that, except in cases of necessity, it cannot be dispensed with by any prudent and diligent man.
Thanks to the goodness of God, and the fostering hands of our kind parents, this habit is so formed in some of us, that we should think it a cruel punishment to be confined to our beds after the usual early hour. Let us prize and preserve this profitable practice; and let us habituate all our children and servants to consider lying in bed after day-light as one of the ills of the aged and the sick, and not as an enjoyment to people in a state of perfect health.
If any of us have been so unfortunate as to have acquired the idle habit of lying late in bed, let us get rid of it. Nothing is easier. A habit's nothing but a repetition of single acts ; and bad habits are to be broke as they were formed, that is, by degrees. An incomparable judge says, “ Habit, like a complex mathemati
cal scheme, flowed originally from a point, which insensibly became a line, which unfortunately became a curve, which finally became a difficulty not easily to be unravelled.” This difficulty, however, may be unravelled by application and prudence. Let a person accustomed to sleep till eight in the morning, rise the first week in April at a quarter before eight, the second week at half after seven, the third at a quarter after seven, and the fourth at seven : let him continue this method till the end of July, substracting one quarter of an hour each week from sleep, and he will accomplish the work, that at first sight appears so difficult. It is not a stride, it is a succession of short steps, that conveys us from the foot to the top of a mountain. Early rising is a great gain of time; and should the learner just now supposed, rise all the harvest month at four instead of eight, he would make that month equal to five weeks of his former indolent life.
Country business cannot be despatched without early rising. In spring, summer, and autumn, the cool of the morning is the time both for the pleasure and the riddạnce of work; and in the winter the stores of the year are to be prepared for sale, and carried to market. The crop of next year, too, is to be set, or prepared for. Every business worth doing at all is worth doing well, and as most businesses consist of a multiplicity of affairs, it is impossible to disentangle each from another, to put all in a regular train, and to arrange the whole so that nothing may be neglected, without coolness and clearness of thinking, as well as indefatigable application. The morning is necessary to all this, and the time and the manner of setting out generally determine the success or the listlessness of the day. Beside, all businesses are subject to accidents, and to set forward early is to provide for the repair, if not for the prevention of them. The husbandman, of all men, is the most to be blamed, if he wastes the precious moments of morning; for fallow-time, seed-time, weeding, water-furrowing, hay-time, and harvest, must be caught at a moment, or they will be lost for a year. It is a fine saying of Job, “If my land cry against me, or the furrows thereof