Puslapio vaizdai

consonant, knowing that the vowels would speak for themselves. And thus he became the surest and clearest of speakers: his elocution was perfect, and never disappointed his audience.


A celebrated divine, who was remarkable in the first period of his ministry for a boisterous mode of preaching, suddenly changed his whole manner in the pulpit, and adopted a mild and dispassionate mode of delivery. One of his brethren, observing it, inquired of him what had induced him to make the change. He answered: "When I was young, I thought it was the thunder that killed the people; but when I grew wiser, I discovered that it was the lightning; so I determined, in future, to thunder less, and lighten more."


A young man in New England had pursued a regular course of preparation for the ministry. But he had passed through the college and theological seminary, deeply absorbed in the pursuit of the regular routine of studies; and, though destined for a public speaker, he paid little attention to elocution. And thus, at the close of his studies, though possessed of a mind copiously furnished, well disciplined, and wielding an able pen, yet he labored under the great deficiency of an awkward and uninteresting delivery.

Some time after leaving the seminary, he married the daughter of an able and eloquent clergyman in one of the eastern cities.

On a certain occasion, his father-in-law invited him to occupy his pulpit a part of the Sabbath. He accepted the invitation; but though his father-in-law was delighted with the great excellences of the discourse, the congregation soon grew dull and listless, and seemed glad when the preacher had done. This the senior clergyman saw; and sundry hints from the hearers convinced him that his son-in-law had made a perfect failure. He solicited of the young man the loan of his sermon, and, several weeks afterwards, delivered it, with all his elocutionary excellences, to the same congregation. They did not recognize it; and they listened with the highest interest and gratification. They pronounced it one of the best sermons their pastor had ever preached.


Many people, and well-informed people too, sit down to write a letter as if they were about to construct a legal document or government dispatch. Precision, formality, and carefully worded and rounded periods are considered all essential, even though the epistle be intended for a familiar friend. Others appear to be writing for publication, or for posterity, instead of making epistolary communication a simple converse between friends. Away with such labored productions. A letter on business should be brief; to a friend, familiar and easy. I like Hannah More's ideas upon the subject. She used to say: "If I want wisdom, sentiment, or information, I can find them better in books. What I want in a letter is the picture of my friend's mind,

and the common sense of his life. I want to know what he is saying and doing; I want him to turn out the inside of his heart to me, without disguise, without appearing better than he is, without writing for character. I have the same feeling in writing to him. My letter is therefore worth nothing to an indifferent person, but it is of value to the friend who cares for me. Letters among near relations are family newspapers, meant to convey paragraphs of intelligence and advertisements of projects, and not sentimental essays."


Professor Porson, being once at a dinner party, where the conversation turned upon Captain Cook and his celebrated voyages round the world, an ignorant person, in order to contribute his mite towards the social intercourse, asked him, "Pray, was Cook killed on his first voyage ? " I believe he was," answered Porson, "though he did not mind it much, but immediately entered on a second."


The poet Carpani once asked his friend Haydn how it happened that his church music was always of an animating, cheerful, and a gay description. To this Haydn's answer was: "I cannot make it otherwise. I write according to the thoughts which I feel. When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap, as it were, from my pen; and, since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be easily forgiven me that I serve him with a cheerful spirit."


John Adams, father of John Quincy Adams, says: "When I was a boy, I had to study the Latin grammar; but it was dull, and I hated it. My father was anxious to send me to college, and therefore I studied. the grammar till I could bear it no longer; and, going to my father, I told him I did not like study, and asked for some other employment. It was opposing his wishes, and he was quick in his answer. 'Well, John,' said he, 'if Latin grammar does not suit you, you may try ditching; perhaps that will: my meadow yonder needs a ditch, and you may put by Latin and dig!' This seemed a delightful change, and to the meadow I went, but soon found ditching harder than Latin, and the first forenoon was the longest I ever experienced. That day I eat the bread of labor, and glad was I when night came on. That night I made some comparison between Latin grammar and ditching, but said not a word about it. I dug the next forenoon, and wanted to return to Latin at dinner; but it was humiliating, I could not do it. At night, toil conquered pride, and I told my father-one of the severest trials of my life-that if he chose, I would go back to Latin grammar. He was glad of it; and, if I have since gained any distinction, it has been owing to my two days' labor in that abominable ditch."


Many years since, when the late Lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts was a student at Harvard College,


owing to some boyish freak, he left the university, went home. His father was a very grave man, of sound strict judgment, and of few words. He inquired into the business, but deferred expressing any opinion until the next day. At breakfast he said, speaking to his wife: "My dear, have you any cloth in the house suitable to make Sam a frock and trowsers?" She replied, "Yes." "Well," said the old gentleman, "follow me, my son." Samuel kept pace with his father, as he leisurely walked near the common, and at length ventured to ask, "What are you going to do with me, father?" "I am going to bind you an apprentice to that blacksmith," replied Mr. Phillips. "Take your choice: return to college, or you must work.” rather return," said the son. He did return, confessed his fault, was a good scholar, and became a respectable man. If all parents were like Mr. Phillips, the students at our colleges would prove better students, or the nation would have a plentiful supply of blacksmiths.

"I had


"Forsake not the law of thy mother" is the text of a sermon preached by the Rev. C. Robbins, and occasioned by the death of the mother of the late Judge Story.

It is told, to the honor of the great Lord Bacon, that he felt he could never repay his obligations to her who had directed his studies as well as nourished his virtues; that he delighted to speak of her through life, and, in his will, left the injunction: "Bury me in St. Michael's Church, for there was my mother buried."

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